One of the most popular posts in the Argentus blog archives is our 2014 comparison of Supply Chain salaries by gender. That post aimed to get at the heart of an issue we’d talked about quite a bit, which is the lack of women in Supply Chain leadership positions. That post examined, from a gender perspective, the salary survey put out by the Institute of Supply Management (an American Supply Chain industry organization). That survey found that there existed a gender pay gap in Supply Chain – which is consistent with the unfortunate gender pay gap in the overall work force – with the gap growing wider at the more senior end.
Since then, anecdotally, we’ve seen more women moving into senior management and executive Supply Chain roles at the Manager, Director, Senior Director, and VP level. And we’ve even seen some female CEO’s coming from the Supply Chain function within major organizations, for example GM’s Mary Barra.
Now, we want to look at ISM’s Salary data for the past two years to see what progress, if any, has been made when it comes to female professionals’ salaries in Supply Chain.
We feel a personal connection to this topic, as Argentus is a proudly female-owned company recruiting exclusively for Supply Chain Management and its related positions. It’s a modern field – and as the field evolves, it becomes less predominantly male and more representative of the kind of diversity that is a hallmark of the 21st century.
So without further ado, let’s jump in. These results refer to salaries for professionals in Supply Chain, Procurement and Sourcing within the U.S. All information comes from the Institute for Supply Management’s 2014 and 2015 salary surveys. (As the full survey is available only to ISM members, we will only be sharing information from their publicly-available summaries.)
(Note: the graphs are meant to be a visual aid and aren’t to scale).
Interesting stuff. So what insights about the gender pay gap can we draw from this data about the ways Supply Chain salaries progressed in 2014 and 2015? Here are our big takeaways:
- At the executive level, women’s salaries far exceeded men’s salaries in Supply Chain, Procurement and Sourcing both years. In 2014, women in the C-suite earned $87,469 more on average than men. In 2015, they earned $67,941 more than their male counterparts. It’s hard to account for why the salaries at this level are so divergent from the rest of the survey. It’s possible that it’s a result of a low sample size, in other words the fact that there are fewer people at the Executive level in Supply Chain than at other levels, and it’s possible that the few women at this level are very highly compensated for any number of reasons. Or it could be that female executives in Supply Chain just happen to be high performers or work in high-compensation industries. It’s hard to say!
- Despite this seeming anomaly, the gender pay gap is persistent.
- In 2014, the discrepancy between male and female Supply Chain professionals was: $4,838 at the junior level, $12,711 at the Manager level, $27,352 at the Director level, and $11,583 at the VP level.
- In 2015, the discrepancy between male and female Supply Chain professionals was: $2,312 at the junior level, $10,942 at the Manager level, $2,933 at the Director level, and $26,088 at the VP level.
- Even though the gender pay gap in Supply Chain persists, there are some encouraging signs. Looking at the data above, the discrepancy between male and female Supply Chain professionals’ salaries has narrowed considerably at the junior and Manager level, and has narrowed drastically at the Director level, where salaries were almost equal in 2015. However, the pay gap between men and women went precipitously up at the VP level from 2014 to 2015. Again, this might owe to a smaller sample size at that level, or to persistent unequal compensation in general. It’s hard to say.
- Supply Chain salaries seem to have fallen in general somewhat at the VP and Executive level. It might be possible that, with the baby boomer generation beginning to retire, newly-elevated professionals are moving into those roles and haven’t yet arrived at the accumulated compensation that their Supply Chain leadership forebears did. Again, this might be a result of a small sample size, or a larger trend, but it’s hard to tell looking at the data.
We encourage you to check out the survey briefs themselves (2014 and 2015). We eagerly anticipate the Institute for Supply Management’s 2016 salary survey, which should provide some more insight on how this trend is progressing!