Joe Biden’s White House most diverse in history, with lowest gender pay gap

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The White House press briefing room. (EPA)
The White House press briefing room. (EPA)

The White House under President Joe Biden is staffed by the most women and employees who are members of ethnic or racial minority groups of any administration in recorded history, according to a personnel report delivered to Congress last week.

The report, released on the White House website, indicated that women make up six in 10 staffers in the Biden White House, and earn less than one percent on average lower than their male peers. The average salary for a woman in the White House was $93,752 and for a man was $94,639.

Those values starkly contrast with gender pay gaps that existed in both former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s administrations. During Mr Trump’s first year in office, female employees made an average of $21,000 less than male employees, due to a predominance of women in lower-ranking positions, according to a CNN analysis at the time.

The Biden administration has worked to counter this trend, and indeed some of the highest-earning staffers are women; Elizabeth Hone, a special adviser to the president on broadband issues, and Molly Groom, an adviser on immigration, each make more than $183,000, while other top staffers including chief of staff Ron Klain were paid at lower rates. Women make up 56 per cent of senior staff positions.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is the most diverse Administration in history. Building an administration that looks like America has been a long-standing commitment of the president, both in terms of White House staff and presidential appointees across the federal government,” reads a fact sheet released by the White House accompanying the report.

“Across every level of seniority within the White House there are more women than men,” it continued.

The fact sheet also touted the Biden administration’s broader efforts to expand the hiring of women and individuals from minority communities across the federal government as a whole, and stated that roughly half of the president’s more than 1,500 appointees identified as members of racial or ethnic minorities.

These efforts have led to a number of notable firsts for the Biden administration in the realm of diversifying spaces in government, including both in the White House and broader administration; most notably, the president tapped Lloyd Austin as the first Black person to serve as Secretary of Defense.

The White House has made history in other ways this year as well; in May, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre became the first openly gay woman to host a White House news briefing. She is also the first Black woman to do so in decades.

During his campaign, Mr Biden stressed that his administration would “look like America”, and vowed to enact hiring policies that increased minority representation in the federal government.

"This is the first in American history that the Cabinet looks like America," the president said in April at his first meeting with all members confirmed by the Senate. "That’s what we promised we were going to do, and we’ve done it."

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