Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Has a Gender Pay Problem

Analysis: Women made less money than men in first months of Clinton campaign

Hillary Rodham Clinton
August 6, 2015

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has consistently paid its female staffers less than it has paid males, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of the campaign’s public payroll records.

In both May and June, the only two full months of available data since the campaign launched, the median salary of a female on Clinton’s staff was found to be far smaller than that of a man.

In May, women on her staff earned 88 cents for each dollar that was earned by men. In June, the campaign staff grew by 55 employees and women fared even worse, earning just 87 cents for each dollar earned by men.

When projected out to reflect annual salary figures, it was calculated that the median annual salary for a woman would be about $7,000 less than the median male salary.

Salary by Gender, May

Salary by Gender, June

The payroll figures were compiled from official campaign expense records filed to the Federal Election Commission, which cover the dates ranging from when the campaign launched on April 12 through June 30. Employees who did not receive the standard two payroll disbursements in each month were excluded from that month’s analysis.

April payroll disbursements, most of which came on the last day of the month, were not included in the analysis—though the two largest payments on that date were made to men. Fundraiser Dennis Cheng and research director Tony Carrk were paid $9,928.74 and $8,351.53, respectively, on April 30.

Also not factored in to the calculations is the campaign’s most senior operative John Podesta, who is the chairman of the campaign. His payments are not categorized on the filing as payroll, but rather as disbursements for "travel and subsistence."

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign said the payroll data listed in the FEC report do not provide "actual salary information."

"Disbursements listed on the FEC report do not represent actual salary information," said spokesman Josh Schwerin. "They do not take into account any withholdings for taxes, benefits or 401k contributions. These amounts vary per employee making it impossible to do the assessment you claim to be doing with any amount of accuracy."

Mark J. Perry, an economics professor at University of Michigan and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Free Beacon that no gender pay comparisons take into account the factors Schwerin pointed to.

"When comparing earnings by gender, items such as withholdings for taxes, benefits and 401k contributions are never considered," said Perry. "Both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau, the two most respected national authorities on income, compare median earnings for men and women on a pre-tax basis, without making any adjustments for taxes, benefits or 401k contributions."

A 2014 BLS study on women’s earnings explicitly states that the data for its study "represent earnings before taxes and other deductions."

Census, which is responsible for the statistic used by Clinton that women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, defines earnings as money wage earned "before deductions are made for items such as taxes."

"A comparison of Clinton’s campaign staff’s monthly salaries by gender is the exact same standard comparison that is always used," Perry said.

Though women are faring worse financially than men, they are faring far better than women who worked for Clinton’s Senate office.

A Washington Free Beacon analysis of her office’s salary data from 2002 to 2008 found that women were paid 72 cents for each dollar paid to men, and that the median salary for a woman was $15,708.38 less than the median salary for a man.

The Clinton campaign confirmed the accuracy of the findings.

Despite this deficiency, Clinton has chosen to make the issue of equal pay for women a central theme of her presidential campaign.

"It’s way past time to end the outrage of so many women still earning less than men on the job," Clinton said during her major July economic policy address.

Perry said Clinton should direct her "outrage" at her own campaign.

"Hillary Clinton must be pretty outraged to learn now that women working on her own presidential campaign earned 12 percent less than male workers in May, and 13 percent less in June," Perry said. "It’s very likely that the typical female staffer working for Hillary will earn almost $7,000 less than her male counterpart over the next year, giving Mrs. Clinton every right to be outraged."

Perry, who recently calculated the gender pay gap in President Barack Obama’s White House, said he was not surprised by the Free Beacon’s findings about Clinton’s campaign staff. He called it the "ultimate in political hypocrisy."

"It is the ultimate in political hypocrisy when pay gap activists like Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton lecture us about gender pay disparities, but yet have glass ceilings in their own organizations," Perry said.

Perry, who argues that gender pay disparity is due to factors beyond discrimination, said the real outrage is the decision by Clinton to continue to grandstand about closing the gender pay gap.

"The biggest outrage is that the statistical fraud and political demagoguery about the gender pay gap continue to be used for political purposes by politicians who have gender pay disparities and glass ceilings within their own organizations," Perry said.