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Valerie Jarrett Confronted on the White House's Own Unequal Pay for Women


"I am struck by the fact the president hasn't really led in this regard."

White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett speaks in Washington, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, during the Investing in Women, Peace and Prosperity luncheon of the 2014 US Africa Summit. President Barack Obama is gathering nearly 50 African heads of state in Washington for an unprecedented summit aimed in part at building his legacy on a continent where his commitment has been questioned. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Republican businesswoman Carly Fiorina confronted top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett Wednesday over the White House's own unequal pay for women.

Despite President Barack Obama's consistent refrain of "equal pay for equal work," the White House has itself come under fire for paying women less than their male colleagues. A July analysis from the Washington Post found that the average male White House employee earns about $88,600, while the average female employee earns about $78,400.

"I think, certainly, every woman on this panel and every woman across the nation agrees that equal pay for equal work is absolutely required," Fiorina said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I also think it's just a fact that laws exist on the books today, and if a woman is being discriminated against because of her gender, she should use the full extent of that law.

"I am struck by the fact the president hasn't really led in this regard," she continued. "He's not paying women equally by his own measures in his own White House. And I'm also struck by the fact that the single greatest impediment to equal pay for equal work is this seniority system, which pays not on merit, not on performance, but on time and grade. ... Why wouldn't the White House take on the seniority system and say, let's pay women by merit and by their results? Because based on my own experience, in those scenarios, women will be paid equally."

Jarrett responded with a flat denial: "Let's unpack your question a little bit. So, first of all the first question and last question, let's weave them together: in the White House women do earn equal pay for equal work."

(H/T: Weekly Standard)

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