Data from Michael Bloomberg’s media empire appears to debunk his claim during the Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night that women at his company “get paid exactly the same as men.”
“Let me tell you what I do at my company and my foundation and in city government when I was there,” Bloomberg said during the debate. “In my foundation, the person that runs it’s a woman, 70 percent of the people there are women. In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities. They get paid exactly the same as men. And in my City Hall, the top person, my deputy mayor, was a woman, and 40 percent of our commissioners were women.”
According to The Daily Beast Thursday, unionized staffers at Bloomberg BNA conducted a pay survey last year of non-management employees that found that although 52.7 percent of BNA’s workforce comprised of women, female staffers earned 93 percent of the pay of their male counterparts. Bloomberg BNA’s union wrote in an April 2019 tweet that “women and people of color face the biggest gaps.”
Bloomberg BNA’s union also shared the study on Thursday in a tweet showing that white men earn almost $5,500 more than their female counterparts. The study showed more obvious differences among black and Latinx staffers.
According to HuffPost, women employed by Bloomberg LP in the United Kingdom earn 21.9 percent less than men when it comes to median hourly wage. HuffPost also found that women make up only 20 percent of the top quarter of the highest-paying jobs and that the representation of women is most prominent in the bottom quarter of jobs.
In a statement shared with TPM Thursday, a Bloomberg LP spokesperson disputed HuffPost’s report, saying that it contains several inaccuracies that the company has highlighted to the reporter. The spokesperson told TPM that the inaccuracies include misreporting the UK gender pay disclosure data and confusing gender pay data with equal pay. The spokesperson added that unequal pay has been against the law in the UK since the Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970 and in the US since the 1960s.
“Bloomberg LP pays employees equally for equal work. Bloomberg employees’ compensation is determined based on their job (function, role and responsibilities) and their performance, regardless of any classification,” the Bloomberg LP spokesperson told TPM in a statement Thursday. “We regularly review the compensation of our employees to ensure there is no unfair treatment in how they are paid and use tools to help managers make compensation decisions that reward performance.”
TPM also reached out to Bloomberg’s campaign for comment and we will update this post if we hear back.