Fred Lucas declared in an April 8 CNSNews.com article:
President Barack Obama designated April 9 as National Equal Pay Day, even though 70 percent of White House staffers in the top-salary bracket were men, and male White House staffers earn on average 13 percent more than female staffers.
CNSNews.com reported on March 15 that 70 percent of White House staffers earning the maximum salary of $172,200 last year were men and 30 percent were women, according to the White House numbers posted on staff compensation. Further, men on the White House staff are paid $86,260.89 on average. Women on the White House staff are paid an average of $76,162.65. So men on the White House staff are paid about 13.26 percent more than women. Put another way, women earn 88.29 percent of what men earn.
But Lucas is making a lazy, bogus comparison. As PolitiFact details, the problem with a simple salary division by gender is that it doesn't take into account the types of jobs being done and the much more important question of whether women are making the same as men for the same job. PolitiFact did what Lucas wouldn't, and found much different results:
When women do the same job as men, the pay gap narrows quite a bit. And in fact, this is exactly what happens when you look deeper into the White House data. Even when you just control for one factor -- people who have the same job title -- the gap narrows significantly.
We found 36 titles for full employees held by more than one person, including at least one man and woman. Of these 36 job categories, there was no difference in pay between men and women in 22 job categories, affecting 121 employees. In another six categories affecting 29 employees, the highest earner in the category was a woman who out-earned at least one man.
In only eight cases affecting 22 employees -- in other words, a small fraction of all employees -- was the highest earner a man who out-earned at least one woman. In a large majority of job categories, there was no salary edge for men. And even in the cases where men did have an edge, it was a small edge -- the lowest-paid women mostly earned between 92 percent and 98 percent of what the top-paid men did.
And don’t forget that we’re only adjusting the data using one factor -- job title. There are other factors that could explain different salaries for people who hold the same job title, such as prior work experience, specific skill sets and the number of years they have spent in the job.