Politics

Donald Trump’s campaign pays women less than men

Men working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in April made, on average, about 35 percent more than women working on the campaign, according to a Globe analysis.
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/File 2016
Men working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in April made, on average, about 35 percent more than women working on the campaign, according to a Globe analysis.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has paid men on his campaign staff one-third more than women, while Hillary Clinton has compensated men and women equally, according to a Globe analysis of payroll data for both campaigns.

Trump’s campaign staff is also far less diverse than that of his likely Democratic opponent. Only about 9 percent of his team are minorities, compared with nearly a third of Clinton’s staff.

The Globe analyzed the payroll for both campaigns for April, the most recent month with publicly available data. The snapshot provides clues as to how the aspiring Oval Office occupants might fill a White House team, and to what extent they include people with diverse viewpoints in the inner workings of their organizations.

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In an election that is already focused on gender — including Clinton’s quest to be the first female president and Trump’s accusations she is playing the “woman card’’ — the payroll differences stand out.

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The women who work for Trump — who account for about 28 percent of his total staff — made an average of about $4,500 in April, according to the Globe analysis. The men made nearly $6,100, or about 35 percent more. The disparity is slightly greater than the gender pay gap nationally.

Of the 15 highest-paid employees for that month, only two were women.

The women working for Clinton — who account for 53 percent of her total staff — took home an average of $3,710. The men made slightly more, at $3,760. Clinton’s staffers, men and women, made less than the women who work for Trump.

On Clinton’s campaign, the highest-paid employee was a woman, Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s director of communications. And of the 15 highest-paid employees, eight were men and seven were women.

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“Hillary for America has made it a priority to ensure that our staff represents the diversity of our country, and this commitment starts with Hillary Clinton,” said Bernard Coleman, the Clinton campaign’s chief diversity and human resources officer.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks — who is among the campaign’s most prominent female employees — did not respond to several requests for comment.

The campaign’s lack of gender and ethnic diversity could reinforce the perception, often created by Trump’s own disparaging observations, that he treats women differently than men. For Republicans who have sought to improve their standing among women and minorities, there is concern that he could set them back.

“If anything, Trump is an aberration even inside the Republican world,” said Kevin Madden, a longtime Republican consultant and presidential campaign veteran. “And for Republicans who have done such a good job putting women in positions of power, the Trump campaign is not a reflection of that.”

Clinton has a significantly larger campaign workforce, with at least 670 campaign workers who made at least $1,000 in April. The total pay for them was $2.5 million.

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Trump had 113 employees who were paid a total of $635,000. His operation is far smaller, like a luxury yacht to Clinton’s battleship, which allows him to be more nimble when making campaign decisions but also could put him at a disadvantage in key states.

The Globe compiled the figures using Federal Election Commission records from April, the most recent month available. The analysis captured all employees on the payroll, as well as consultants whose compensation could be identified, who were working enough to make at least $1,000.

The numbers represent the take-home pay for employees, since campaigns separately take out payroll taxes or allow employees to contribute to a 401(k). The figures could change as the campaigns add employees or drop temporary ones.

Pay equity is already a theme in the campaign, along with whether to raise the federal minimum wage and anxiety about the stagnation of middle-class pay.

“Last time I checked, there’s no discount for being a woman,” said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently. Above: Clinton campaigned last week in El Centro, Calif.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
“Last time I checked, there’s no discount for being a woman,” said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently. Above: Clinton campaigned last week in El Centro, Calif.

Clinton frequently brings up pay and gender inequality as part of her standard stump speech. She supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, which attempts to solve pay gender gaps by forcing more transparency around pay, training women to better negotiate wages, and allowing for greater penalties for companies engaging in wage discrimination.

Trump has suggested he favors “equal pay for equal work” but has also questioned the methods for determining whether the work is actually equal.

“Last time I checked, there’s no discount for being a woman,” Clinton said in April. “Groceries don’t cost us less.”

In response to Trump saying that she is playing the “gender card,” Clinton has come up with a line about pay for women: “If talking about equal pay and paid leave and more opportunities for women and girls is playing the gender card, then deal me in.”

Polling throughout the campaign has shown that Trump struggles to appeal to women voters. And that disparity could affect his ability to recruit qualified female campaign workers.

The reason Clinton has many women on her team is “probably that a lot of women are enthusiastic about working for her,” said Hannah Riley Bowles, a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who conducts research on gender in leadership positions.

“But at the same time, it sounds like this is something she’s taking into account as she thinks about being a leader and creating a leadership team,” she added. “It just sounds like [Trump] doesn’t really have a clear strategy for thinking about gender representation as part of his leadership team.”

Trump in the past has touted some of the high-ranking women he has employed in his businesses, including more recently his daughter Ivanka.

“I have had women working for me in positions that they’ve never worked in terms of . . . so many different jobs,” he said last year in New Hampshire, making reference to a woman in charge of building Trump Tower. “I have given women more opportunity than, I would say, virtually anyone in the construction industry.”

When a voter asked if she, as a woman, would make the same as a man if Trump is president, he responded, “You’re going to make the same if you do as good a job.”

While Trump has several prominent women on his campaign, he has come under scrutiny for not paying them as much as men.

In January, a field organizer in Iowa who had been fired accused Trump’s campaign of sexual discrimination, saying that men doing the same jobs as women were paid more — and were also given more responsibility for planning and speaking during campaign events. Trump’s campaign at the time cast the campaign worker, Elizabeth Mae Davidson, as a disgruntled employee.

“My people tell me she did a terrible job,” Trump told The New York Times.

The complaint has been referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to Davidson’s attorney, Dorothy A. O’Brien. Davidson declined to comment.

Trump has recently sought to elevate the issue by criticizing Clinton for pay inequality at the foundation founded by her and her husband.

“Hypocrisy at the Clinton Foundation: Top male staff made on average $218,029 while top female staff made $153,014 from 2010-2014,” Trump posted last month on his Instagram account.

Politifact reviewed the claim and determined it was “half true.” While the numbers appeared to be accurate, the Trump campaign looked only at less than a dozen employees.

The Globe also tried to identify the racial backgrounds of as many campaign workers as possible, using publicly available photos and data.

Trump, who recently tweeted that he loved Hispanics as he displayed a taco bowl in front of him, appears to have only three campaign workers who are Hispanic and none are in the top reaches of his campaign.

Trump in April had at least four black employees, including most prominently Katrina Pierson, a national spokeswoman who regularly makes the rounds on television to speak on behalf of Trump.

While Trump’s campaign is filled with newcomers to politics, Clinton has scores of campaign veterans who have worked on local races or spent time on other campaigns.

Clinton has about six times more staffers, which can add cost as well as bureaucratic layers that make decisions more difficult.

She has hired outreach directors to Jews, progressives, military families, African-Americans, and the LGBT community. Trump did not appear to have anyone on his payroll with those job descriptions.

Matt Viser can be reached at matt.viser@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mviser.