Politics

Hillary Clinton Continues to Mislead on Gender Pay Gap

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP

Hillary Clinton cited a misleading statistic in a speech last week that ranked the United States "65th out of 142" countries world wide on gender pay, according to FactCheck.org.

Speaking at the Women in the World Summit, Clinton stated that World Economic Forum rankings put the United States in 65th place globally on equal pay.

"If you doubt what I say, look to the World Economic Forum, hardly a hotbed of feminist thought," said Clinton. "Their rankings show that the United States is 65th out of 142 nations and other territories on equal pay."

Clinton's statistic, however, was derived from one of the sub-indexes in a World Economic Forum report that actually ranked the United States 20th overall.

"Clinton can’t accurately claim that the U.S. ranks '65th out of 142 nations and other territories on equal pay," writes FactCheck.org's Robert Farley. "Certainly not if she means equal pay for doing the same work."

Farley explains:

Clinton is referring to the WEF’s 2014/2015 "Global Gender Gap Index," which tallies an overall ranking based on a variety of factors such as economic participation and opportunity (including such factors as the percentage of professional and technical workers), educational attainment (including literacy rates and enrollment percentages at various levels of education), health and survival (such as healthy life expectancy) and political empowerment (such as the percentage of female members of parliament). Based on the composite score of all the various scores, the U.S. ranked 20th out of 142 countries overall.

Clinton’s statistic is derived from one of five "sub-indexes" for the "economic participation and opportunity" score. The U.S. report card shows it ranked 65th when it comes to "wage equality for similar work."

But that is not a hard statistic based on actual inequality in wages for doing similar work. Rather, it is based on an executive survey of business leaders. Respondents to the executive opinion survey in 2013-2014 were asked, "In your country, for similar work, to what extent are wages for women equal to those of men?" They were then asked to assign a score from 1 to 7, with 1 meaning "not at all — significantly below those of men" and 7 meaning "fully — equal to those of men."

In other words, the U.S. ranked 65th according to the opinions among U.S. business leaders who responded to the survey about the pay disparity between men and women for doing similar work, compared with the opinions from executives in other countries about pay disparity in their countries for similar work.

This is not the first time Clinton has attempted to mislead on the gender pay gap issue. Last year, Clinton cited the highly problematic Census statistic that women make just 77 cents for each dollar earned by men.

Clinton's authority on the issue of gender pay equality has also been called into question after a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that Clinton paid women working in her Senate office just 72 cents for each dollar paid to men.

The Clinton campaign confirmed the finding of the report.