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July 7 2014

Hypocrisy Alert: Michelle Obama's Sexist Office Pay Scale!

Charlotte Hays

The White House website has a big, splashy, green graphic to show that “the gender wage gap” will cost a typical 25-year-old $431,000, if not corrected, by the time she is 65.

Hypocrisy Alert: Ladies, you won't close the wage gap by going to work in the Obama White House...or in Mrs. Obama's office.

It is widely known that the White House talks up a storm about pay equity but hasn’t done anything to bring its own salaries into line with what its rhetoric. Analysts put the gender wage gap in the White House at 13 percent.  

But there's one office of which we might have expected better, ladies.

Yep, Michelle Obama’s office. But, if you saw the pay scale of the First Lady's office, and didn't know it was hers, you'd think: cauldron of sexism. 

Now, I don't usually accuse people of sexism, and I believe that employers and employees must be free from government intrusion to make their own agreements about pay. I know that all sorts of factors come into play.

Still, Mrs. Obama's office arrangements are in-ter-res-ting. The First Lady has only two men on her staff and they pull down 46 percent more than the women, according to recently-released salaries for White House employees.

The Weekly Standard analyzed the salaries in FLOTUS’ office:

As it turns out, there are only two men on the first lady's staff. They are the directors of Let's Move and Joining Forces. Their salaries average $123,307. The other fourteen staffers are women (the salary for the deputy director of Let's Move was listed as $0 and was therefore not included in the analysis). The average pay for the remaining thirteen women is $84,133, a 46 percent difference from the men's average.

There are three women whose pay is higher than the men's average, including one making $172,200. The position title for each of these women also includes "assistant to the president" in addition to responsibilities for the first lady. A fourth woman, whose salary of $103,000 is well above the women's average, is also listed as assistant to the president.

As the Standard points out, we don’t know FLOTUS’s role in hiring. But the mag does quote Mrs. Obama talking about how she has gone about hiring in the past (presumably when she was a hospital administrator):

Whether it was during my time as a lawyer, as an administrator at a university, a nonprofit manager, even now as First Lady, I’ve never once asked someone I was interviewing to explain a test score or a grade in a class -- never.  (Applause.)  

I’ve never once made a hire just because someone went to an Ivy League school instead of a state school -- never.  What I have looked for is what kind of person you are.  Are you a hard worker?  Are you reliable?  Are you open to other viewpoints?  Have you stepped outside of your own self-interest to serve others?  Have you found a way to serve our country, whether in uniform or in your community?

So maybe the guys on FLOTUS's staff are just more reliable and more likely step outside their self-interests to serve others more than women?

Who wouldn't step outside his self-interests to outearn the women by nearly half?

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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