Donald Trump’s administration is finding itself in what appears to be a bottomless pit of hot water this not-so-happy Friday, with news the White House pay gap has tripled since Trump assumed office.
According to an analysis by economist Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute, the median female White House employee is drawing a salary of US$72,650 in 2017, while the median male salary sits at about US$115,000.
In his analysis, Perry says a typical female staffer at the White House in 2017 earns 63 cents to every dollar earned by a male staffer.
This figure is more than double the national pay gap, which stands at 17 per cent.
For context, in the last year of Obama’s administration, the White House pay gap sat at a stark 11 per cent.
In his calculations, Perry writes that in order to have the most accurate figure, the median salary must be used over the average. Perry argues that other White House pay gap figures may be lower because average salaries are affected by outliers.
“To be as statistically accurate as possible, almost all reports on pay differences by gender compare median wages, income, or salaries and not differences in average (mean) pay,” he writes.
The news of the pay gap figures comes as female journalists in Washington DC complain about the White House’s strict and confusing dress code.
On Thursday, CBS journalist Rebecca Shabad reported a young female journalist was barred from entering a room called the Speaker’s Lobby because her sleeveless dress was deemed inappropriate. Despite attempts to improvise by ripping pieces of paper and throwing them on her shoulders, the reporter was still refused entry.
The report opened a wave of conversation on Twitter, with many female reporters voicing their discontent for the existing dress code and its lack of flexibility given DC’s summer weather. Male reporters, too, joined the conversation, lamenting the fact men are expected to be in suit and tie at all times under the dress code.
Huffington Post reporter Jeffrey Young wrote on Twitter he has seen women “shamed” over “totally acceptable attire”, or even “because someone decided their very shapes were inappropriate”.
I saw women shamed over her totally acceptable attire, or even because someone decided their very shapes were inappropriate.
— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) July 6, 2017
Interestingly, there is nothing in writing – nor is there a definitive rule – barring women from exposing their toes or their shoulders in Congress. The online floor procedure for the US House of Representatives states members must “dress appropriately”, with male members expected to wear a “traditional coat and tie”. For females, the rules are a little more vague, with the only instruction being they must wear “appropriate attire”.
Ivanka Trump, it would seem, is exempt from the tight rules, often spotted within the White House and Oval Office in a sleeveless dress.
Just another day in Trump’s America.
Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss all things Trump administration.