Political rhetoric may stir emotions, but often must give way to reality. On numerous occasions, President Obama has assailed the business community for paying women less than men. And all things being equal, no reasonable person can seriously argue that one employee with the same skills, education and work experience as another employee should be paid less for performing the same job just because of the employee's gender. That is not the argument. The argument is that there are other factors that can come into play that may affect compensation. Without a serious examination of all relevant factors, condemning a business whose pay data show a disparity in compensation, is unwarranted.
As it turns out, there is a pay gap at the White House. The median income of female staffers is 88 percent of the median income of male staffers. Using the President's logic, the White House discriminates against women. Of course, one would expect the White House to immediately increase the pay of female staffers and pay back wages for the years of low wages.
It's not to be! According to the White House, the pay gap is not based on gender, but rather job experience, education and hours worked. In other words, the President claims that the statistics don't tell the whole story. One must dig deeper to see the real reason for the disparity.
The pay gap is a serious issue and deserves serious consideration and thoughtful solutions. Unfortunately, thought is often lost on politicians.