Mar 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Bidens discuss Equal Pay issue with women soccer stars

The first family and soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Margaret Purce are drawing attention to the issue of unequal pay for women in the latest weekly conversational video with President Biden.

Why it matters: During a speech earlier this week, the president laid out the stakes: "In nearly every job — more than 90 percent of the occupations — women still earn less than men: 82 cents on the dollar on average."

  • He added: "For AAPI women, it’s 87 cents for every dollar a white man earns.  For Black women, it’s 63 cents.  For Native American women, it’s 60 cents.  For Hispanic women, it’s 55 cents. 

The president, first lady Jill Biden and the two standouts on the U.S. women's national soccer team were recorded in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

  • The taping occurred before Rapinoe, Purce and the Bidens attended an event next door in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building marking Equal Pay Day.
  • Per the National Committee on Pay Equity, that's the day in each new year when women catch up to what men earned the prior year.

What they're saying: The video begins with the first lady sharing the experience of her first teaching job, when she was offered $7,500 while a man who was hired simultaneously was paid $10,000.

  • "Obviously we have a very public fight going on," Rapinoe says of the battle for equal pay. The president acknowledges that, saying, "It’s even tougher for women of color."
  • Rapinoe, who has used her platform as a World Cup star to speak out against the pay gap, adds: "So often the work is left to the people that it’s affecting most. We’re doing the best we can with what we have, but to have it obviously come from the very top is the most important."

Earlier that day, Rapinoe testified about gender discrimination before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

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