POLITICS

Donald Trump's Campaign Staff Is 75 Percent Men

This is not going to help him win over female voters.
Corey Lewandowski, left, Dan Scavino, center, and Michael Glassner are among the highest-paid senior staffers on Donald Trump
Corey Lewandowski, left, Dan Scavino, center, and Michael Glassner are among the highest-paid senior staffers on Donald Trump's campaign.

As likely Republican nominee Donald Trump attempts to make peace with skeptical female voters after years of sexist comments, he may need to take a hard look at his own campaign. Nearly three-quarters of the staffers on Trump's campaign payroll are men, according to an analysis of his May financial disclosure report.

The New York real estate mogul is paying 70 staffers directly through his campaign. Fifty-two of them -- about 75 percent of the staff -- are men, while only 18 are women. 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, is roughly 10 times the size of Trump's, but has a near-even ratio of male to female staffers. Fifty-one percent of the 731 staffers on the Clinton campaign payroll are women -- the same sex ratio of the United States population. 

(Bernie Sanders, the presumptive second-place finisher in the Democratic primary, has a male-heavy campaign. His camp's top 10 highest-paid employees are all men.)

Trump's campaign also appears to have a pay disparity between men and women in senior roles. Nearly all of Trump's highest-paid senior staffers are men: Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner, chief policy adviser Sam Clovis, and director of social media Dan Scavino were each paid between $12,500 and $20,000 for April and May. The two female senior staffers -- communications director Hope Hicks and national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson -- were paid $7,700 and $10,486, respectively.

Trump's former Iowa field organizer, Elizabeth Mae Davidson, sued his campaign in January over sex discrimination, claiming that men in the same jobs as women were being paid more and given more responsibility. She also accused the business mogul of sexual harassment, alleging that when she and another young female volunteer met Trump at a rally last summer, he said, “You guys could do a lot of damage,” referring to their physical attractiveness. (Trump has denied making the comment. “That is not the worst thing that could be said,” he told The New York Times, “but I never said it.”)

While Trump's campaign hires women mostly in communications roles and values those positions less than the senior roles filled by men, the Clinton campaign's highest-paid staffer is communications director Jennifer Palmieri. Clinton's chief operating officer, chief of staff, chief technology officer, and two of her senior policy advisers are all women. 

Neither campaign responded to requests for comment. 

The gender imbalance in Trump's campaign is hardly surprising, given some of the comments he's made in the past about women in the workplace. When MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski asked Trump in 2011 whether it's fair to pay women who are mothers less than men in the same role, Trump essentially said yes

“An employer could say she’s not giving 100 percent, she’s giving me 84 percent, and 16 percent is going towards taking care of children," Trump said. "So maybe you can also understand the employer’s point of view.”

Trump has also said, on the topic of maternity leave, that pregnancy is "an inconvenience" for an employer. "It's a wonderful thing for the woman, it's a wonderful thing for the husband, it's certainly an inconvenience for a business," he said in a 2004 Dateline interview. "And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.”

Women in the U.S. are fighting an uphill battle for equal pay, adequate maternity and paid family leave, and respect in the workplace. Full-time working women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn on average, according to Census Bureau data. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave, and a 2015 survey by Cosmopolitan magazine found that 1 in 3 women between ages 18 and 34 had been sexually harassed at work, across professional fields. 

Clinton has made women's workplace issues, including equal pay, paid leave and raising the minimum wage -- which would disproportionately benefit women -- central to her campaign. Conservatives have accused Clinton of paying female staffers less than men when she was in the Senate, but PolitiFact rated that claim "mostly false."

While Trump has supported the idea of fair pay in theory, saying in August that men and women deserve "equal pay for equal work," he said he opposes the idea of a law requiring employees to pay women and men the same.

"People have to go out and they have to fight for themselves," Trump said at a November rally in Iowa. "I don't know if people agree with me, but once you get where everybody gets the same, I mean, you’re into a socialistic society." 

Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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