Lilly Ledbetter? Female White House staff make 18 Percent less

In last nights town hall debate between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, a question arose about equal pay for woman:

QUESTION: In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

Mitt Romney spoke about how he increased the number of woman on his staff in high end positions (from 30-42%), but Presidential Obama touted the signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Act which made it a matter of law that woman should receive the same pay for the same job.

While that law seems like a milestone in American politics, there is but one problem, Obama’s words do not equate with his actions among his own female staff in the White House

According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

Calculating the median salary for each gender required some assumptions to be made based on the employee names. When unclear, every effort was taken to determine the appropriate gender.

The Obama campaign on Wednesday lashed out at presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney for his failure to  immediately endorse the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, a controversial law enacted in 2009 that made it easier to file discrimination lawsuits.

President Obama has frequently criticized the gender pay gap, such as the one that exists in White House.

“Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income,” he said in a July 2010 statement. “And with so many families depending on women’s wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole.”

It is not known whether any female employees at the White House have filed lawsuits under the Ledbetter Act.

via Hostile Workplace

Republican “War on Women” Think again

But President Obama’s own record on closing the gender pay gap is less than stellar. Using late 2011 figures, the latest available at the time, The Washington Times earlier this year surveyed 121 White House employees who were paid at least $100,000 and found that 47 were women and 74 were men. That is only slightly better than in 2003, the third year of the Bush administration, when 39 of the top 121 employees were women.

When all White House employees are considered, the Obama administration’s record dims a bit further. Female employees earn a median salary of $60,000, roughly 18 percent less than men, whose median salary is $71,000.

While Mr. Obama has taken steps to ensure that senior women in the White House on average make as much or more than men, he has not dramatically increased the number of women at the highest levels compared with those serving under Mr. Bush.

In the highest-paid positions when Mr. Bush was in office — aides making $151,000 — four of 14 were women: Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser; Harriet Miers, a deputy chief of staff; Dina Powell, an assistant to the president for personnel; and Mary Spellings, an assistant for domestic policy.

Read more: Obama’s record on paying women White House aides not stellar


No matter what the White House and high level Democratic  women in Congress (like Nancy Pelosi) say on the campaign trail and in debates,  they are paying women on their staff less than their male counter parts.  Even so, the left-wing coffers for Obama have come out with stories that say that Romney is against the Lilly Ledbetter Act and would not have signed it into law.

So here is where we are, Say but don’t do, or do and not say.  Romney  had women in high level positions in his cabinet during his time as governor.  The women on his staff were paid equally .  He increased the number of Women (Binders full of Women) on his staff from thirty to forty-two percent.  Actions are much louder than words.

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About Albert N. Milliron 6991 Articles
Albert Milliron is the founder of Politisite. Milliron has been credentialed by most major news networks for Presidential debates and major Political Parties for political event coverage. Albert maintains relationships with the White House and State Department to provide direct reporting from the Administration’s Press team. Albert is the former Public Relations Chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party in Georgia. He is a former Delegate. Milliron is a veteran of the US Army Medical Department and worked for Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Psychiatry.


  1. I just went and looked at the Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff. This list does not cite genders (as mentioned in the article), so I’m not sure how we can arrive at 18% less pay with confidence. Looking at just the first 50 names on the list, 28 identifiable women are paid $2.1 million compared to 22 identifiable men who are paid a total of $1.8 million. This averages out a lot closer to parity than the rest of the country at large. Looking more closely at the first 70 or so names, we see that “Analysts” are paid $42,000/year regardless of gender, “Special Assistants to the President for Legislative Affairs” are paid $102,000/yr, regardless of gender, and “Staff Assistants” are paid $42,000/yr, again regardless of gender. So Lily Ledbetter conditions are satisfied. I don’t see a problem here.

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