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Presidential Campaigns and the Gender Pay Gap

Topics: Current Events

Recently, Jezebel analyzed presidential candidates’ campaigns to see which have the most significant pay disparities between male and female staffers. You may be a bit surprised to learn who has the “fairest” campaign in terms of the gender pay gap.

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(Photo Credit: Kim Bost/Flickr)

At the time of the article’s publishing, there were six remaining candidates, so the data includes Senator Marco Rubio’s staff … and for good reason. Of the six campaigns analyzed, Rubio’s team was the only one that paid women more than men, with women averaging about $5,000 more than men. What’s more, six of the 10 top earners on Rubio’s campaign were female.

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Republican Gov. John Kasich is the only candidate whose campaign is run by a woman. In an interview with Elle, campaign manager Beth Hansen exclaimed that Kasich is the candidate who cares about women’s issues and “wants women to have an opportunity to succeed.”

However, at a town-hall meeting in Ohio this past January, Kasich was quoted as saying this in response to a question about his stance on offering paid maternity leave to working women: “The one thing we need to do for working women is to give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online,” reports The Columbus Dispatch. Kasich continued, “The reason why that’s important is, when women take maternity leave or time to be with the children, then what happens is they fall behind on the experience level, which means that the pay becomes a differential.”

Here is a rundown of the study’s findings for each presidential candidate:

Hillary Clinton: Clinton’s campaign has the most female staffers, with 324 women and 202 men. Hers is the only one with more women than men staffers. Four of Clinton’s highest-paid staffers are women, with her Director of Communications, Jennifer Palmieri, topping the list at $138,412.04.

Bernie Sanders: On average, Sanders pays women $1,000 less than male staffers, and none of Sanders’ top 10 earners are women, despite his staff comprising 104 women and 142 men.

Donald Trump: Out of the 39 staffers on the #MakeAmericaGreatAgain campaign, a measly 11 are women. Not one staffer earns over $100,000 on Trump’s campaign, not even his top earner, NH State Director Matthew Ciepielowski, who earns $96,000.

Fun fact: Jezebel reports, “At the end of January, Elizabeth May Davidson, a 26-year-old Iowa field organizer for Donald Trump, filed a discrimination complaint against the campaign for a workplace that was hostile to women: she alleged the campaign regularly paid men more than women for the same jobs, allowed men to take on a more significant role in producing rallies, and that the first time she met Trump, he made a comment about her appearance.”

Ted Cruz: His campaign employs 19 women and 27 men, with men making an average of $20,000 more than women staffers, which is the largest gender pay gap out of all the campaigns.

John Kasich: Despite being the only candidate with a female campaign manager, Kasich has the lowest percentage of women staffers out of all the presidential candidates, with only seven women and 25 men.

(See the rest of the findings, here.)

If there’s anything this analysis indicates, it’s that even the presidential race isn’t immune to the gender pay gap, even when candidates are for eradicating the problem. It’s definitely nice to live in an era where a woman is in the running for POTUS; however, it would also be nice to see equal pay for equal work on the campaign trail.

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What are you thoughts about the gender pay gap in the presidential race? Share your thoughts on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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The gender pay gap is a nonexistent issue derived from poorly done analysis of reports that look at pay as a whole and not taking into account percentage of genders in given fields of work or pay lost due to time off.
No serious economist will support the idea of a pay gap.
Please stop perpetuating this myth.

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