Gender pay gap in Trump's White House worse than national average

The difference between the median salaries of male and female staffers in the Trump White House is significant

Alexandra Wilts
Washington DC
Monday 03 July 2017 21:34 BST
US President Donald Trump in in the Oval Office of the White House
US President Donald Trump in in the Oval Office of the White House (Getty Images)

Women working in Donald Trump's White House earn an average salary of 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male colleagues, a gender pay gap wider than the national average, data shows.

The US Labor Department reports that women in the US on average earned about 82 cents for every dollar a man made in 2016.

According to an analysis of salary information for the White House’s 377 staffers, the average salary for men is about $104,000 a year, roughly $20,000 higher than the women’s average annual earnings of about $84,000.

The imbalance is not necessarily because women are being paid less for doing the same jobs as men. Instead, it appears to be due to the fact that more women fill lower-ranking positions.

Half of the 200 men working at the White House make $115,000 or more annually, while half of the 177 women earn $75,000 a year or less.

Of the 22 staffers paid the highest White House annual wage of $179,700, only six are women: senior adviser Kellyanne Conway; director of communications for the office of public liaison Omarosa Manigault; assistant to the President and director of strategic communications Hope Hicks; deputy national security advisor Kathleen McFarland; deputy national security adviser for strategy Dina Powell; and chief of staff to the First Lady Lindsay Reynolds.

While the Obama White House admitted that it was not the perfect example, its gender pay gap was significantly narrower compared to the one under Mr Trump. In 2014, the difference between the median salary of a male compared to a female staffer was about 13 per cent, lower than the then national average of 23.5 per cent, according to the Washington Post.

In comparison, the median annual salary of males staffers in the Trump White House is 45 per cent higher than the median annual salary of female staffers. Men earn about $106,000 a year, while women bring home roughly $73,000.

Meanwhile, some of Mr Trump’s lowest paid officials have senior roles, including Gary Cohn, the President’s chief economic advisor and former Goldman Sachs president, and Chris Liddell, the White House’s director of strategic initiatives and ex-General Motors and Microsoft executive. Both have an annual salary of $30,000.

Last month, Mr Trump declared that Mr Cohn, who has assets valued at $252 million to $611 million, “went from massive pay days to peanuts”.

The list of the White House’s total 377 staffers also includes First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who both receive nothing for their roles as special advisers to the President.

Mr Trump appears to be maintaining a smaller staff size compared to his predecessor Mr Obama. Mr Obama had 472 staffers during the final year of his presidency, down from 487 in his first year.

The news of the wider gender pay gap in Trump's White House comes as his administration reportedly considers eliminating Mr Obama's White House Council on Women and Girls, which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of policy changes and communicating with women's groups.

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