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Congress

How Congressional Republicans and Democrats Pay Women

As a rain moves in, the Capitol building is reflected in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 13, 2011.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

What does $10,000 mean to you? Well, if you made something around the median in the U.S. last year, it could mean more than a fifth of your household income.

But what's $10,000 to you if you're a female Republican congressional staffer? It's about how much less you'd make than the men in your office, according to salary data from LegiStorm. 

(RELATED: Survey Finds Politics and Public Policy Favor Men)

 

As Catherine Hollander notes as part of this week's National Journal magazine cover story, these numbers aren't a perfect science. Additionally, the salary divergence can be largely explained by the gender disparity in high-level congressional jobs--especially among Republicans. Women working in Congress tend to have lower-ranking jobs and thus lower salaries. But the salary contrasts are striking when matched to congressional salary data on the whole.

Some points of note in the numbers ...

House Staff Salaries

  • For all House staff, women made on average $5,862.56 less annually than men. Although that may sound like a lot, compared with the national average it's actually quite an improvement. In the House, women on the whole made about 90 cents on the dollar compared with men. The national average for 2010 was 77 cents on the dollar. The salaries: Female House staff made $56,671.15; male House staff made $62,533.71. 
  • Female Republican House staff made on average $10,093.09 less annually than male Republican House staff. That's good for 84 cents on the dollar, female to male. Female Republican House staff made on average $3,774.80 less annually than the average female House staff member. The salaries: Female Republican House staff made $52,896.35; male Republican House staff made $62,989.44.
  • Female Democratic House staff made on average $1,473.65 less annually than male Democratic House staff. That's 97 cents on the dollar compared with men. It's not parity, but it's not far off. The salaries: Female Democratic House staff made $60,048.92; male Democratic House staff made $61,522.57.

Senate Staff Salaries

  • For all Senate staff, women made $7,277.69 less annually on average than male staff. Female staff in the Senate made 89 percent of what male staff took home. That's slightly less than the 90 percent that female staff made in the House. The salaries: Female Senate staff made $58,984.67; male Senate staff made $66,262.36.
  • Female Republican Senate staff made on average $9,805.85 less annually than male Republican Senate staff. That's 86 cents on the dollar for female Republican Senate staff. The salaries: Female Republican Senate staff made $59,846.47; male Republican Senate staff made $69,652.32.
  • Female Democratic Senate staff made on average $4,916.46 less annually than male Democratic staff. Female Democratic Senate staff made 92 cents on the dollar compared with male staffers. The salaries: Female Democratic Senate staff made $58,449.55; male Democratic Senate staff made $63,366.01.
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