Two conservative outlets called Warren a hypocrite on gender pay. Her record isn’t great, but they didn’t tell the whole story.
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, the day dedicated to raising awareness of the alleged gender pay gap—or the oft-reported idea that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Largely the result of women being more likely to take time off or work in lower-paid jobs and industries, many hijack this topic to advocate for more workplace regulation or signal their rage about sexism (despite the statistics showing a more complicated story).
It’s fair for the idea of a gender pay gap to frustrate many on a visceral level. Although the dramatic statistics often cited are not accurate, it’s true that women are more prominent in lower-paid professions and roles. This happens for many reasons—anything from social conditioning that makes it harder to ask for raises to needing flexibility for childrearing.
But these shoddy statistics are used as a talking point by those trying to push legislative agendas, especially on the left. Senator Elizabeth Warren has, in particular, been an outspoken proponent for leveling the gap. As she tweeted last year: “Equal pay day isn’t a national day of celebration. It’s a national day of embarrassment.” Unfortunately, her outrage fails to show self-awareness, on some level.
Sen. Warren’s own office seems to be afflicted by the same issues she’s publicly decrying. The Daily Caller and Washington Free Beacon recently reported on this, claiming that her employees experience a gap of about $20,000 for median annual earnings, by gender. Ah, the hypocrisy!
As nice as it would be if the story were that simple, there are several caveats that come with Senate staffer pay reports; bonuses could inflate salaries, no distinctions are made between part- and full-time employees, and some staff could be interns or working for multiple offices. Relying too heavily on these statistics is irresponsible without more context.
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