Procurement Gender Pay Gap Decreasing

CIPS 7 October 2019

At the director and CPO levels of supply management, women are still not as well paid as men, at least in the UK, but the pay gap between men and women is getting smaller at lower levels of the profession. That is one of the takeaways from the most recent CIPS/Hays Salary Survey, which reported the gender pay gap at the top of the profession is 35%, but dropped to 4% or less in two lower levels of procurement.

Procurement Gender Pay Gap Decreasing

CIPS and Hays conduct the survey annually to help professionals and their employers benchmark salaries and benefits. The data here comes from the U.K., but CIPS hopes enough U.S. professionals will participate this year to generate benchmarks here.

[To take the 15-minute survey, click on this link: Salary Survey 2020. The survey closes soon, so don’t delay.]

CIPS-certified professionals should be glad to know that in the U.K. people with MCIPS certification earn on average 15% more than their non-certified colleagues. The value of MCIPS is even greater at mid-level professionals such as senior buyers. Their salary advantage averaged 21%.

Here are a few of the other average U.K. salaries reported from this year’s survey:

  • Chief Procurement Officers $US 152,000.
  • Senior Category Managers -- $66,000
  • Purchasing Managers -- $55,600
  • Procurement Specialist -- $46,000
  • Procurement Analyst -- $41,500

When broken down by sector, services outpaced manufacturing in average salaries:

  • Professional services, including consulting and legal averaged $85,700.
  • Banking, Finance and Insurance came in at $76,500
  • Marketing, Advertising and PR at $74,200
  • Manufacturing $50,200

Overall, the survey also reported that at 5.3%, raises for supply managers slightly outpaced the UK national average, which came in at 2.7%.

According to CIPS Knowledge Product Manager, Danielle Goodrick, salary may be a primary motivator for people changing jobs, but respondents also mentioned they were looking for jobs with good career opportunities and within their jobs were also looking for more chances to see how other parts of their organization function and to get a broader view of the business.

Those desires fit well with the expectations of business managers, who are looking for procurement staff who can see how the work they do contributes to the overall business. In a recent survey by KPMG, two-thirds of the CEOs mentioned agility as the new currency of business – those who can’t respond quickly to changing conditions will fail. In that kind of environment it pays to have more than a narrow view of your own job. Goodrick said, “We’ve seen a massive increase in the need for soft skills and the importance people place on that at all levels. So influencing and leadership skills, stakeholder management, relationship management are all important skills and often prioritized over the more technical skills.”

As commodity transactions have become more automated, strategic purchases have become more complex. They often require cross-functional teams to evaluate aspects of a purchase well beyond price – including sustainability, marketing advantages and the reliability of a new technology. That trend requires the soft skills of collaboration and relationship building. It also explains why so many people trained in other disciplines are taking on supply management positions.

“People who are recruiting new talent are struggling to find people with the right skills, and by that I mean soft skills, so they are looking potentially for people from other disciplines to recruit based on those skills, and to teach them the technical skills. The profession is moving forward and we have a different skill set potentially needed.”

Because so many people in procurement have come from other disciplines, CIPS training and certification has become very important to give them the supply management technical skills to go along with their previous expertise. The standards for the courses and certifications are very high, and they are recognized globally.

Bill Michels

CIPS VP Operations, Americas

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