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Pay gap at White House persists

– The White House has not narrowed the gap between the average pay of male and female employees since President Barack Obama’s first year in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of new salary data.

The average male White House employee currently earns about $88,600, while the average female White House employee earns about $78,400, according to White House data released Tuesday. That is a gap of 13 percent.

In 2009, male employees made an average of about $82,000, compared with an average of $72,700 earned by female employees – also a 13 percent gap.

One of the key reasons is that more men hold the higher-paying, senior jobs in the White House, and more women hold the lower-paying, junior jobs.

Today, there are 87 male White House officials who make more than $100,000, compared with 53 female White House officials. The gap narrows, but persists, at the highest echelons of the White House. Obama has made pay equity a central cause this year. He has pushed for increasing the minimum wage in part because it would especially benefit women.

“This is not a women’s issue, this is a family issue,” Obama said last month in Pittsburgh. “Women now bring in close to half of all income, and there are a whole lot of families out there where the woman is the primary breadwinner.”

White House officials say that even if the aggregate statistics show a gap, men and women in the same roles at the White House are paid similar amounts. “At the White House, we have equal pay for equal work,” said White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo. “Men and women in equivalent roles earn equivalent salaries, and over half of our departments are run by women.”

White House officials say they have more work to do, however, and say they are working to retain and promote staff so that more women reach senior positions. The Post calculated the averages on pay disparity after determining the gender of employees through their names and basic research. A few employees could not be identified by gender, but their inclusion would not have changed the findings.

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