Carney: WH Wage Gap 'Better Than the National Average'

By Susan Jones | April 8, 2014 | 5:49 AM EDT

President Obama with his National Security Adviser Susan Rice and his U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. (AP File Photo)

( - White House spokesman Jay Carney insists there is "equal pay for equal work" at the White House.

On Monday, he was asked about a study showing that in Obama's White House, the median salary of women is 88 percent that of men.

"I think that those studies look at the aggregate of everyone on staff," Carney said. "What I can tell you is that we have, as an institution here, have aggressively addressed this challenge, and obviously, though, at the 88 cents that you cite, that is not a hundred, but it is better than the national average.

"And when it comes to the bottom line that women who do the same work as men have to be paid the same, there is no question that that is happening here at the White House at every level."

Carney noted that "closing the wage gap" is part of President Obama's economic agenda.

"And here at the White House, equal pay legislation deems that there should be equal pay for equal work. And that's what we have. Men and women in equivalent roles here earn equivalent salaries.

"For example, we have two deputy chiefs of staff, one man and one woman, and they earn -- they make the same salary. We have 16 department heads. Over half of them are women, all of whom make the same salary as their male counterparts," Carney said.

"And I think that it is worth noting, as anyone who participates in our senior staff meetings can see, that we have, here in the White House, over half the women -- over half the staff are women and fulfilling key senior leadership roles across the board...And what that tells you is the president -- is the president has enormously qualified people in the most senior spots in the White House."

One year ago, reported that 70-percent of the White House staffers who made the top annual salary of $172,200 in 2012 were men and 30 percent were women, according to a White House report on staff compensation.

In addition, men on the White House staff were paid, on average, $86,260.89 and women were paid, on average, $76,162.65. That means the average man on the White House staff is paid about $10,098--about 13 percent--more than the average woman.

And in 2008, reported that Obama, on average, paid women on his Senate staff only 78 percent of what he paid men--with the average man on Obama's Senate staff getting an annual salary of $57,425.00 and the average woman getting an annual salary or $44,953.21.