Total Retail recently released its 2018 Salary Benchmark Report, which offers retail employees and employers a comprehensive look into salary trends within the industry. A survey sent to Total Retail's audience yielded some interesting data regarding the salaries and financial benefits of today's retail executives, perhaps none more so than the difference in total compensation between male and female respondents.
Retail's Gender Wage Gap
Of the 424 respondents to the survey, 233 were male, 189 were female (two respondents didn't answer the question). The average total compensation (annual salary plus any other financial benefits such as bonuses, commissions, stock options, etc.) for women respondents was more than $11,000 less than what it was for the male respondents (see Chart 1 below). When evaluating just base salary, there was an even wider disparity. Male executives received an average base salary of $91,659 compared to $77,143 for female executives (see Chart 2 below).
The area in which women executives fared better than their male counterparts was in non-salary compensation. That said the gap is pretty close. Women received, on average, $3,445 more in non-salary compensation last year than men.
Steps to Solving Retail's Gender Wage Gap
With this data, what are some steps that retail organizations can take to narrow and ultimately eliminate the gender wage gap that exists within the industry? Here are a few tips recommended by Visier Insights in its recent report on gender wage inequality:
- Gain a high-level understanding of the state of gender equity at your organization. Start with simple metrics like "female ratio" (i.e., looking at the percent of total headcount that are female) by department, role and/or location, as well as in your hiring pipelines.
- Compare pay for men and women. Compa-ratio is a compensation calculation that indicates how close a person's base pay is to the pay level midpoint for the role they perform. If women have a lower-than-average compa-ratio, then it's likely that pay decisions aren't being made equitably.
- Measure performance ratings by gender, then compare them to promotion rates to identify areas of bias.
- Measure promotions by gender, and also the nature of the promotions. This includes examining data by role, department or location to determine if the percentage of women promoted to or holding manager positions is lower than the percentage of men. If there's a discrepancy, you can implement the Rooney Rule: For every manager position you have open to fill, consider at least one woman and one under-represented minority in your pool of candidates.
- Take steps to correct gender inequity, starting with your processes for hiring. Consider blind screening of resumes (removing names or other gender identifiers from resumes) when selecting applicants for interviews, and identify where you should focus your efforts to improve gender balance in the hiring pipeline.
For more valuable retail salary data, both for employees looking to maximize their earning potential as well as for employers looking to attract and retain top talent at their organizations, Total Retail's 2018 Salary Benchmark Report is available to download for free.
Related story: Total Retail’s 2018 Salary Benchmark Report