The gender pay gap in the White House has widened significantly in the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency.
According to a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute, the pay gap between male and female White House employees has more than tripled since the last year of Obama’s administration. At that point, the statistics showed an 11 per cent margin. Under Trump, the gap has widened to 37 per cent ($US42,350).
Even more frustratingly, the White House GPG is now more than double the national one. With female staffers on average earning $US72,650 while their male counterparts rake in $US115,000.
Only 6 of the top 23, highest paid White House staff are women and a whopping three quarters of the top 101 highest paid positions are held by men. Female staffers also comprise 59% of the lowest three salary brackets.
These results for any other leader would be shocking, but for Trump they’re just the tip of the iceberg. An early indication perhaps, that things are likely to get much, much worse—especially in light of the President’s early chess-moves.
On March 27 of this year, Trump revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order—a policy put in place by the previous Obama administration. The order ensured that companies with federal contracts comply with 14 labour and civil rights laws in a bid to protect workers from recurrent breeches.
Crucially, Obama’s Fair Pay order specifically protected female employees in two ways. Firstly, through banning company arbitration clauses for claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination. Companies were no longer able to include contract clauses which prevented women from coming forward on harassment claims publicly.
Secondly, the order ensured pay transparency. Employers were now required to detail earnings, pay scales and salaries. A measure to lessen and eventually eliminate the gender pay gap altogether. Women were no longer forced to negotiate salaries in the dark.
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to recognise why Trump sought to loosen the legal strings on those two violations. Financial transparency and respect for women are not exactly the President’s strong suits. With twelve sexual harassment claims pending for Trump, his repeal of the order was as much to protect himself as it was to protect other like-minded misogynists.
But now, without the order in place, Trump is free to act however he sees fit. He’s free to pay his male and female staffers at the rate he deems appropriate—and characteristically he’s taking full advantage of that power.
Ironically though, these latest figures don’t only impact women working in the White House. They are also likely to cause a crushing blow to Trump’s own daughter.
As Ivanka Trump continues to pursue a profile, according to her Twitter account, as an “advocate for the education & empowerment of women & girls” as well as a vocal supporter of pay equality, she’s fighting a losing battle against her dad’s contradictory behaviour.
Ivanka’s credibility hangs in the balance. If it’s important to her, perhaps it’s time she had a good chat with her father.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 4, 2017