The gender gap of pay in this country has been a big topic of discussion for many years and although women have, and continue, to make strides towards equal pay, it is important that the leadership in our country assist in helping to push women’s rights forward. It is very displeasing to see the report released from the White House on July 1st that lists the title and salary of every White House employee. Economist Mark Perry analysed the data from the report and discovered that the Trump White House has widened the gap between male and female employees in comparison to the Obama administration in 2016. How large is this margin? The gap has more than tripled in comparison to last years.
According to the report, the median salaries for a female White House employee is $72,650, and the median salaries for male employees is $115,000. That is almost a staggering 37% difference in the pay gap. To put it in other terms, a female White House staffer receives 63.2 cents for every dollar their male counterparts receive. That is really troubling considering that there is a bigger discrepancy between genders in our government than in the regular work place. According to the Pew Research Center, women were paid 83% of what men were being paid in 2015. Going by that math, it would take the average American woman 44 more days to earn the same pay that men do.
In a report from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in March of 2017, they illustrate how these numbers can add up over the span of lifetime. The report stated that women collect $10,470 less in median earnings every year. It also went on to say that, “A 20-year old woman just starting full time, year round work today stands to lose $418,800 over a 40-year career compared to her male counterpart”.
Though this gap has closed over time, there is much work that is still left to be done. We need everyone including our political leaders to contribute in assisting women to gain their equal rights. Research has shown that some reasons for the earnings gap has to do with women being more likely to take breaks or reduce their work hours in order to take care for their family. The inherent problem with this belief is that men should also be taking time to be with their families, another problem in our country.
There are plethora of reasons why this gap continues to be unfair. Women are most likely not getting the same opportunities to lead and take higher earning positions that their male counterparts possess, showing just how the Trump administration feels about women getting fair opportunities. It also could be that women are doing the same work a man is doing and just being compensated less. Whatever the reasons, it is absolutely outrageous for this trend to continue. Those in the Trump administration need to show that they are concerned about women’s rights, these numbers that were just released is unacceptable and reflect how our leaders feel about gender equality. President Trump has said in the past that he backs equal pay for women but actions speak louder than words, it is time for him and the rest of this leadership to put up or shut up.