Gender pay gap narrows in US

4 January 2007
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04 January 2007 | Paul Snell

Salaries for female buyers in the US are rising more quickly than those of their male counterparts and purchasing salaries in general, a survey has revealed.

According to the 2006 Salary Survey, published this month by recruitment firm Tonia Deal Consultants and Purchasing magazine, the average salary for women in the sector is $66,671 (£33,981). This is an increase of 7.1 per cent on last year.

In comparison, the average male salary only grew by 4.7 per cent in 2006 to $89,956 (£45,731). Yet this is still around $20,000 higher than women's salaries.

The survey says the disparity in earnings between the genders is because women in purchasing are typically younger and less experienced than men. They also have fewer responsibilities and hold less senior positions.

The 6 per cent increase in average salaries in purchasing in 2006 was not as high as in the previous year, but outperformed other professions in the US, for which the average salary growth was between 3 and 4 per cent.

The average pay for buyers in the US was $49,897 (£25,321) a year. The top procurement professionals, vice-presidents of purchasing and supply, received an average of $178,469 (£90,684) annually.

The 2006 increase was attributed to many companies in different sectors competing for the same talent, forcing them to offer premium wages. The average salary across all purchasing positions in the US was $83,205 (£42,265) - roughly the same as the average of £44,923 for purchasers in the UK.

Purchasers who specialised in buying marketing, legal, HR and travel services tended to be better rewarded than their peers, as were those who were professionally trained.

Buyers who held the certified purchasing manager qualification earned, on average, $11,100 (£5,650) more than those who were not qualified.

Large salaries are becoming increasingly common. The number of purchasers earning more than $100,000 (£50,824) rose by 9 per cent in 2006.

The highest paid purchaser who responded to the survey was a buyer of metals who worked in middle management and earned $600,000 (£304,970).

Location is also a factor in the size of a buyer's pay packet. The highest average salaries were in Hawaii and New England, with the lowest average in Alaska and the Mid-West.

Just under 2,000 participants across the country took part in the survey.

SMjan2007

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