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Men in the sector earned on average 29 percent more than women overall in 2017, according to a recent survey of 3,000 purchasing and supply-chain professionals by the Institute for Supply Management. The gulf was wider at high-level positions, where there are fewer women generally, and among workers with the most experience. For example, men who had been in supply chain for 15 to 19 years earned 48 percent more than their female cohorts, ISM found.
The gap has narrowed slightly since 2016, when the disparity in salaries was 31 percentage points. But women were still paid less than men in 2017 across various white-collar supply chain jobs, from junior purchasing positions to the C-suite. In the relatively few most senior positions such as executive vice president, men on average earned 26 percent more than women in similar posts.
“Women haven’t made near the progress that the industry wants to think we have,” said Cory Ann Holst, senior director of data and performance management for the global business services division of snack-food giant Mondelez International Inc. “We all know there is a glass ceiling.”
Abe Eshkenazi, chief executive of supply-chain organization APICS, said the group’s most recent compensation survey also found pay disparities, although the overall gap was smaller, with men earning on average nearly 16 percent more than women. Separate APICS surveys suggest more women have been entering supply-chain management as a career in recent years.
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