‘Equal Pay Day’: All Senate Democrat Leaders’ Top Aides Are Men

Republican leadership proves far more equitable in hiring of women

With the 2014 elections quickly approaching, the Democrats War on Women strategy is ramping up. The Democratic leadership's most recent efforts are a new “GOP pay gap” campaign and using “Equal Pay Day” to make symbolic gestures toward the promotion of income equality for women.

However, as The Washington Times’ Emily Miller highlighted Tuesday, not only is the Obama administration guilty of the very inequality they are accusing private industry of, all of the Senate Democrat leaders are likewise acting hypocritically in regard to gender equality. Miller found that all of the lead Democratic Senators—including Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and Patty Murray—have male chiefs of staff and male communications directors. Thus, all have female staffers that are paid less than the males. Out of the two parties, the Republican leadership is in fact modeling gender equality far better than its self-proclaimed pro-women opposition.  

Miller contrasts what the Senate Democrat leadership is saying in public against how they are managing their offices behind closed doors. The results are revealing. Harry Reid is leading the charge among Democratic senators as they vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would force private companies to demonstrate that they are not discriminating according to employees’ sex. Chuck Schumer is doing his part, tweeting Monday that without the federal government’s action, “women won’t reach pay equity until 2058.” However, like the Obama administration, Reid, and Schumer and the other lead Democratic senators are not following their own dictates:

But Mr. Schumer, Mr. Reid and the others in the Senate Democratic leadership — Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Conference Secretary Patty Murray — are hypocritical in saying they want women to have equal seniority and pay.

Not one of them has a female chief of staff or communications director, the person spearheading this week’s publicity stunts. Mr. Reid’s spokesman, Adam Jentleson, did not respond to a request for comment.

Even Murray, who Miller emphasizes is the “only woman on either side in leadership” (though she holds the lowest-ranking position), has hired men for both her top advisory and communications positions. Thus, the ones leading the “GOP pay gap” charge against the supposedly anti-women Republicans are boxing women out of many of their own key leadership positions.  

Meanwhile, Republican Senatorial leadership is demonstrating greater gender equality in their own offices. Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn both employ women as their chiefs of staffs (the highest-paid in leadership), and John Cornyn, John Thune, John Barrasso, and Roy Blunt employ female communications directors:

The top two leaders have female chiefs of staff — Sharon Soderstrom for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Beth Jafari for Minority Whip John Cornyn. These women are also the highest-paid chiefs of staff in leadership, which is commensurate with their positions.

Four of the five leaders — Mr. Cornyn, Conference Chairman John Thune, Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso and Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt — have female communications directors. These high-power jobs usually are not family-friendly, yet two of these women are working mothers.

Furthermore, these women are paid an average salary of $124,000, which is about $18,000 a year more than Democrats pay men doing the same job.

The Democrats’ War on Women will continue to build, especially with new polling data showing that the so-called “Rising American Electorate” (unmarried women, minorities, and young Americans) is far less inclined to vote this year than in 2012.