Supply chain managers are earning more than ever before in terms of both salary and overall compensation. Better yet, the profession is flourishing—salary growth for supply chain professionals outpaced the average 2017 wage increase. However, as in many other segments of business, equally-qualified women in the supply chain are still paid less than men.
The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Thirteenth Annual Salary Survey found that overall compensation for supply chain professionals rose to $117,425, an increase of 1.7 percent compared with $115,440 for 2016. In fact, half of those surveyed reported earning more than $100,000 per year compared with 47 percent last year.
“Wages and job satisfaction continue to be important to supply management practitioners, who are experiencing a higher growth in salaries and overall compensation than professionals in general,” said ISM CEO Thomas W. Derry. “A number of factors, including level of education and attaining supply management certification, such as ISM’s CPSM, can positively impact salaries.”
In terms of salary (not including other benefits), supply chain professionals reported their income was up 4.1 percent, compared with 3.9 percent in 2016. Professionals in general, by comparison, reported a 3 percent wage increase overall. Eighty-five percent of ISM respondents indicated that their 2017 base salaries increased, compared with five percent who said their salaries were reduced.
The gender pay gap
The high-tech industry, in general, agrees that salaries should not be based on gender. The reality is different. By analyzing disparities, such as those found by ISM, companies have an opportunity to eliminate the gender gap.
“ISM believes, and is committed to, moving the supply management profession in a direction that exemplifies equality, especially regarding salary,” said Paul Lee, director, ISM Research and Analytics. “ISM’s position statement on compensation and opportunity worldwide is: ‘All equally qualified supply management professionals performing at a similar level should be given equal compensation and opportunity in the workplace without discrimination based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation.’”
The average salary for women in the field increased 1.8 percent (slightly higher than the overall average) to $98,780, up from $96,990 in 2016. Men, on the other hand, received an average of 0.9 percent increase (to $127,908 in 2017 from $126,710 in 2016). The gap is closing, but slowly. Men still earn an average of 29 percent more than women, compared with 31 percent in 2016.
These inequities exist among all positions and experience levels. The biggest disparity was at the vice president level with men earning 52 percent more than women in the same position ($212,181 compared to $139,487). Male chiefs (at the senior vice president or executive vice president level) earned an average of 26 percent more than their female counterparts, bringing in an average salary of $279,413 compared to $221,137. At the director level, the disparity was less, with an average pay gap of seven percent. Men earned $163,943; women earned $152,859.
Experience and education seem to count more for men as well. The ISM found men with 15 to 19 years of experience earned 48 percent more than women; and those with two decades or more on the job earned 30 percent more. Meanwhile, men with a doctoral or master’s degree earned 53 percent more than women ($190,697 for men, $124,844 for women) and 29 percent ($147,093 for men, $114,466 for women), respectively.
The annual salary survey, which was fielded in March 2018, went to a random sample of both ISM and non-ISM members, Lee said. Respondents were asked to report compensation (including wages, bonuses and stock options received before taxes and deductions) for the 2017 calendar year. In all, ISM received nearly 3,000 responses.
Hailey McKeefry is editor-in-chief of EPSNews' sister publication, EBN.