Exclusive: Elizabeth Warren Leads By Example On Staffers' Equal Pay

Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is walking the walk when it comes to pay equity in her Senate offices. The current average women-to-men earnings ratio in her office is 1.08, which means staffers are being paid equally regardless of their gender, Refinery29 can exclusively report
By contrast, as we've often reported, women in the United States currently earn on average about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. (The wage gap is even worse for most women of color.)
Warren, who has made economic issues a central part of her work as a senator and now her 2020 presidential bid, told Refinery29, "Women should be paid the same as men for doing the same work — full stop. If we want to make Equal Pay Day obsolete, we have to start making real changes everywhere, including in the halls of Congress." She added: "I’m grateful to have so many talented, hard-working women leading our team and serving on my staff."
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According to Warren's team, the senator currently employs 31 women and 20 men in her Senate offices in Washington, D.C, and Massachusetts — not including interns. (Warren's office is one of the few that offers paid internships, including a $15 per hour rate for interns who don't receive support from their colleges or other programs.) The office's top leadership roles are occupied by women, two of them women of color specifically: chief of staff Anne Reid and legislative director Beth Pearson, based out of D.C., and state director Nikko Mendoza, based in Massachusetts.
Though the office declined to disclose ballpark compensation figures for each position, they said staff salaries are based on previous experience and time in the office. Warren's team said pay equity has always been one of the senator's priorities, which goes along with her efforts to have a diverse team.
This latter point has been at the crux of conversations surrounding the longstanding tradition of offering unpaid internships and underpaying congressional staffers. As Warren and other members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believe, equal pay and a living wage is crucial if we want Capitol Hill to look more like the rest of America.
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