Binders update: Average WH pay for women 13% less than men in 2012

posted at 9:01 am on January 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

At least that’s an improvement over the 2011 disparity, according to The Daily Caller.  Working from the annual report the White House makes to Congress on staffing expenses, they show that women do comprise nearly half of all White House staff, as Obama claimed in yesterday’s press conference, but they earn an average of $12,000 less than the men — around a thousand dollars a month:

The median 2012 salary for female employees of the White House was $62,000; for men that number was $71,000.

TheDC calculated the median male and female salaries by determining employee genders based on their names. In cases where the gender was not clear, TheDC either identified the specific employee in other ways or — in a few cases — assigned gender based on the most common use of a given name according to databases of baby names.

The 2012 pay disparity represented an improvement from the disparity in 2011 figures the Washington Free Beacon reported last year. According to that analysis, the median female compensation in the White House was $60,000 — $2,000 less than in 2012 — and the male employees’ median was unchanged at $71,000. That amounted to an 18 percent difference.

In his statement last year declaring April 17 Equal Pay Day, Obama lamented the pay disparity between men and women in America, echoing the well-worn yet often-questioned statistic that “women who worked full-time earned only 77 percent of what their male counterparts did.”

There may be many reasons for this disparity — choice of responsibilities, family considerations may play into the kinds of positions that women wanted to accept in the first place.  Of course, that’s just as true in the private sector, which politicians like Obama ignore while demagoguing on the subject.  And after the attacks on Mitt Romney and “binders full of women, this makes hash out of that demagoguery, too, especially after the diversity issues Obama has had to address in his second-term Cabinet rollout.

Yesterday, Obama hinted that his next round of appointments will look a lot different than what we’ve seen in January:

President Obama on Monday defended his record on diversity after mounting criticism over his recent Cabinet-level appointments, and hinted that additional female appointments could be coming in his next round of nominees.

“I’m very proud that in the first four years, we had as diverse, if not a more diverse, a White House and a Cabinet than any in history,” Obama said at a White House press conference. “And I intended to continue that, because it turns out when you look for the very best people, given the incredible diversity of this country, you’re going to end up with a diverse staff and a diverse — a diverse team, and that very diversity helps to create more effective policy making, and better decision making for me, because it brings different perspectives to the table.”

Obama went on to urge critics to “wait until they’ve seen all my appointments, who is in the White House staff and who is in my Cabinet, before they rush to judgment.”

That’s probably a fair request.  Of course, it’s also fair to note the pay disparity in a working environment run by the man who can’t stop talking about the Lily Ledbetter Act, and it’s certainly a lot more fair than that same man handled the “binders full of women” remark from Romney during a debate.

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