Gender Wage Gap in Biden Administration the Most Narrow in DC History

Just one year ago, women working in the Donald Trump White House earned 69 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned. But oh, how things have changed! 

Economy reporter Chabeli Carrazana of nonprofit newsroom The 19th reported on the newly released data, revealing that the wage gap for White House Officials has evaporated almost completely. Based on current wages, women working in the Biden White House saw their salary soar by 30%, earning 99 cents for every dollar earned by men — the narrowest wage gap ever recorded in the nation’s history since 1995 when salary data began to be tracked and released publicly.

According to Carrazana, the wage gap for White House officials is far narrower than the gender wage gap in the country as a whole; in 2021, women are earning 82 cents on the White man’s $1.” 

Women working in the Biden White House earn an average salary of $93,752, while men working there earn just slightly more at $94,639. In comparison, during Trump’s first year in office, the wage gap for his female workers was one of the worst ever recorded: 63 cents to men’s $1. 

Carrazana also reported that “Biden’s gap is also narrower than other Democratic presidents. In the Obama White House, women earned between about 84 and 89 cents on the dollar, according to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.” 

The shrinking wage gap appears to be the result of staffing itself; women hold more positions overall within the White House workforce (nearly 60%), including more top-level, higher-paying roles.

“The gender wage gap is typically a ‘raw’ figure that doesn’t adjust for experience, education, title or other factors,” Carrazana reported. “It simply looks at median wages. In past administrations, a lack of women in higher-paid positions widened the gap.” 

As an example, she pointed out that the “two highest-paid people in the Biden White House are women: Immigration policy adviser Molly Groom earns $185,656, and senior policy adviser for broadband Elizabeth Hone earns $183,164.”

Two men hold the lowest-paying positions in the Biden White House. They both earn $36,000 per year.

Fair wages and assembling a diverse, inclusive administration “that looks like America” is an ongoing effort for President Biden. As we reported last week, President Biden has issued a new executive order tasking the dozens of various departments and agencies within the federal government to each create and submit their own unique plan to increase diversity and inclusion efforts within their workforces. The order encourages a “direct, comprehensive rethinking” of how DEI efforts can and should operate within each of these agencies.

The White House has also recently appointed its first-ever chief diversity and inclusion director, Michael Leach, tasked with helping to usher in those efforts. The administration also continues to focus on raising wages for home care workers and the federal minimum wage, in general, through the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would increase salaries for women across the board in the United States.

In an interview with The 19th, Kelly Dittmar, the director of research and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics, said it’s clear that “the administration has been making a case for policy around gender equity.”

By paying women working directly for the President fairly, Dittmar said the White House sets an example for other organizations and can more easily encourage them to follow suit. 

“It is easier to do that from a place of expertise and accountability,” she said. “We’ve done it so you can do it, too.”

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.