Study shows gender wage gaps still wide in supply chain industry

While more women are entering into management positions in the supply chain management field, recent studies show that there is still a significant gap in wages between genders fulfilling equivalent roles, reported the Wall Street Journal, and the higher up a position’s ranking within a company, the wider the gap becomes.

According to a study of 3,000 “purchasing and supply chain professionals” in the U.S., conducted by the Institute of Supply Chain Management (ISM), men earned an average of 29 percent more than their female counterparts in 2017. This gap widens for those with longer careers; men who have been in the industry between 15 and 19 years earn a staggering 48 percent more than women with the same experience.

Last year, the median salary for women in the supply chain sector was US$88,000, compared to the men, making an average of US$108,000, the study found. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this trend extends outside of the logistics industry in the United States – the U.S. Census Bureau reports that women bring in 81 cents on the dollar across all industries in the American labor force.

Despite the wide margins, the study shows that the picture is slowly improving, with pay gaps shrinking among junior ranking positions. Men with less than four years of experience earned just 2 percent more than women last year – a vast improvement compared with 22 percent in 2013, according to the study.

Industry experts say that there are many factors perpetuating the gap. The Wall Street Journal suggested that the nature of the career path itself is one, writing that white-collar jobs “often reward people who work long hours or change positions frequently, for instance, steps some women with families may be less likely to take.” However, gender discrimination is still considered to be a major influence and is unfortunately difficult to measure and mediate.

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