Women in procurement: The fight for equal salaries

Staff developmentTalent and Leadership

Women in procurement earn around 76% of what men do. To change that they need to do a few simple things.


Women working in the procurement function earn around 76% of the average male salary, according to Procurement Leaders’ 2016 Salary Survey. The only way that situation will change is if women take more some more proactive steps to ensure they are in a position to negotiate the salary they deserve.


Here are three things women should consider when they are thinking about their salary reviews.


1. Don’t be afraid to ask

Regardless of the industry, salaries are always a difficult subject to broach. A new book by Linda Babcock, Women don’t ask, looked at the starting salaries of a group of students who had graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with master’s degrees. It was found that the salaries of men were 7.6%, or almost $4,000, greater on average than those of the women. Looking at why that was the case, Babcock found that only 7% of the female students had negotiated but 57% (eight times as many) of the men had asked for more money.


Put simply: you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for more. Do some research before to find out what others are earning in a similar role to you and put together a list of reasons why you deserve that.


2. Shake the stigma

There is nothing wrong with asking for a pay rise. Some people think that asking for one gives them a bad reputation. It doesn’t.


Think about it the other way around. What if you don’t ask for one? What does that say to your boss about the worth that you feel you have and have contributed to the team?


Have the confidence to show why you deserve a pay rise. That will show the confidence you have in your own abilities, as well as the value you are providing to the team.


3. Use what you know

Women working in procurement have one significant advantage over those who work for other functions. They are expert negotiators and those skills can – and should – be used in salary discussion.


Naturally, bargaining with suppliers will be very different from negotiating a new salary, but the skills you have should be used.


The gender pay gap will continue to be an issue until either businesses naturally increase the pay of women or from internal pressure from the women on their payrolls. Women need to fight their own corners and make a strong case for their salaries to rise. If they don’t, the gap will exist for a long time to come.


This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.

Sophie Dyer
Posted by Sophie Dyer

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