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Raimondo’s Female Staffers Paid Less Than Male Counterparts

Friday, January 23, 2015


Despite campaigning on the issue of pay equity for women as a candidate for Governor in Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo’s staff is top heavy with highly paid men, who on average make significantly more than women. Four of the top five highest paid members of the Governor’s staff are men and the only woman in the top five was a Republican appointee.

According to data obtained by GoLocalProv through an Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request, of the 30 staff appointments made directly by the Governor to her personal staff, 17 are female and 13 are male, but men on average make 14% more in annual salary.  

Moreover, the only woman in the top five position in the Raimondo executive office is Claire Richards, originally appointed to the Governor’s legal office by Republican Lincoln Almond and then kept on by Republican Governor Don Carcieri and Independently elected Lincoln Chafee. 

In a series of questions about staffing, opportunity for women, and pay equity to Governor Gina Raimondo, GoLocal received the following statement, 

“As the first woman governor of Rhode Island, Governor Raimondo is focused on promoting women leaders in state government and beyond. Our chief counsel and director of communications, and many other key spots on our team are held by women," said Deputy Communications Director Ashley O'Shea.   “The office is working on many initiatives, and will make announcements when appropriate.”

Raimondo and Obama

President Barrack Obama

On Halloween afternoon of 2014, Gina Raimondo stood on the podium with President Barack Obama at Rhode Island College as the President gave a speech about the need to level the opportunities and pay levels for women. 

“We have to raise our voices to demand that women get paid fairly. We’ve got to raise our voices to make sure women can take time off to care for a loved one, and that moms and dads can spend time with a new baby. We’ve got to raise our voices to make sure that our women maintain and keep their own health care choices. We’ve got to raise our voices to basically do away with policies and politicians that belong in a “Mad Men” episode,” said President Obama.

This past July, a look by the Washington Post had found that "male-female pay gap remains entrenched at [the] White House."

Raimondo’s campaign made the issue of pay equity a cornerstone of her campaign. Raimondo issued a white paper during the campaign calling for women to receive equal pay of their male counterparts.  

The Raimondo campaign white paper affirmed: 

Rhode Island has a law on the books forbidding wage discrimination on account of sex, yet the wage disparity between men and women persists. That’s why, as Governor, I will immediately take action to promote a culture of paycheck fairness in our state, by:

• Creating an anonymous tip line, so that women who are earning less for equal work will be able to report their employer’s non-compliance, and have access to resources to help them earn the pay they deserve;

• Create an equal pay certification status that will be awarded to all Rhode Island businesses that show a commitment to equal pay practices.

Gina Raimondo

"This may be an issue of equal pay for equal work.  If the women and men are doing the same work with the same length of experience and being paid differently, that’s gender wage discrimination," said Michele Leber, Chair of the National Committee on Pay Equity, of the Raimondo administration.  "But there may be legitimate salary differences, as in the Obama White House."

"I think you should look at all top positions.  It’s possible that men are being paid more because they earned more in their previous positions; this often happens, but it’s wrong," continued Leber. "Previous salary is not a bona fide reason for paying men and women differently for the same work."

Same Title Different Pay

In a review of Raimondo salaries there are six professionals with the title “Deputy” on the Governor’s staff and two are men and four are women.  The average salary of the two males is $136,147 and the average salary of the four women is $86,227. The women deputies make less than 64 percent of the male counterparts.

The top ten paid staffers are split equally five men and five women, but the top men average $144,095 in salary, and the women, $116,865.

"It's great it's 50/50, but it seems to be quite a big gap," said Ariane Hegewisch with the Institute for Women's Policy Research.  "We're focusing on the higher level jobs -- the occupational segregation in the U.S. is pretty stuck. You need to encourage women to aim high.  "

"How are they recruiting people?  Are they losing people who could come through the normal ranks?" continued Hegewisch.  "In a way, it's such a big issue, it's unlikely there's a one stop answer.  There are complex, sophisticated ways of looking at the issue, which we need to do."

"You can recruit sideways -- is the state making the best effort to get talent elsewhere.   Catalyst just looked at diversity in the top sectors, but things are getting better.  It's not terrible, but it might be on the way up," said Hegewisch.  "What we need to know is what steps are they taking to ensure this will equalize more."


Related Slideshow: Top 20 Governor’s Staff Salaries

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Jennifer Fondeur

Office Manager

Salary: $58,256.00

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Richard Delfino

Legislative Coordinator 

Salary: $60,158.00

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Gabe Amo

Director of Public Engagement 

Salary: $67,885.00

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Talia Policelli

Deputy Legislative Director

Salary: $70,466.00

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Heather Hudson

Policy Advisor 

Salary: $70,466.00

Prev Next


Marie Alberger

Press Secretery 

Salary: $75,619.00

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Matt Appenteller

Director of Policy Development

Salary: $75,619.00

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Abby Swienton

Deputy Policy Director

Salary: $78,379.00

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Ashley O'Shea

Deputy Director of Communications

Salary: $80,953.00

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Andrea Iannazzi

Special Counsel

Salary: $83,910.00

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Christine DeFillippo

Prin Proj Mgr / Exec Asst

Salary: $93,773.00

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Donna Dell’Aquilla

Prin Proj Mgr II/ Exec Asst.

Salary: $103,315.20

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Amy Moses

Deputy Counsel

Salary: $115,110.00

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Joy Fox

Director of Communications

Salary: $119,790.00

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Matthew Bucci

Director of the Governors Office 

Salary: $119,790.00

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Kevin Gallagher

Deputy COS

Salary: $129,132.00

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Eric Beane

Deputy COS

Salary: $143,163.00

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Claire Richards

Executive Counsel

Salary: $152,338.00

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Stephen Neuman

Chief of Staff

Salary: $161,272.00

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David Cruise

Legislative Director

Salary: $167,118.00


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