Reporter vs. WH's Earnest on White House's Own Gender Pay Gap


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN: On middle class issues and equal pay for equal work, whenever these numbers come out concerning the White House, it keeps coming up repeatedly, that the metric that the White House cites for there being a gap nationwide is also there at the White House, and the White House's response is continually that --

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Just a factual point before we continue this: the statistic that's cited about the country is about 77 cents on the dollar, and I think the White House was 88 cents on the dollar. So the White House is doing appreciably better than the country as a whole probably, but we still have more work ot do at the White House. There are a lot of ways to evaluate pay equity, right?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI: The White House's response, or course, is when you look at the numbers for equal pay for equal work, which should be at the heart of this, it is equal. So do you think that that comparison, then, is one that should not be made, using the averages? Whether you apply it to the country as a whole or to the White House?

JOSH EARNEST: I think there are a variety of measures to try to get at whether or not workers are receiving equal pay for equal work. You can look at whether individuals who hold the same title make the same salary. That's certainly the case at the White House. I have a variety of examples of this, but, to choose two: the senior advisor to the president Dan Pfieffer (who is a man) is paid the same salary that the president's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is paid. So there is equal pay for equal work that is demonstrated here at the White House. I point out that of all of the departments here at the White House, 22 different departments, more than half of them are run by women. We have women in senor positions are being paid in line with those senior positions. That is also another way to evaluate one's commitment to pay equity.

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