Procurement Salaries Grew in 2016, But So Did the Gender Pay Gap: ISM Survey

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Salaries for supply management professionals grew strongly in 2016, an indication that the tightening labor market is pushing companies to compete for top procurement talent, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s 2017 salary survey.

The average compensation in 2016 for survey respondents was $115,440, an increase of 5% compared with a year earlier ($109,961). Median compensation in 2016 increased 3.2% to $96,000, versus $93,000 in 2015.

While the survey, now in its 12th year, portrays a rising tide for supply management professionals generally, not all boats are being lifted — at least, not as quickly.

In 2016, women working in supply management earned on average 31% less than their male peers. That was actually a step back from last year, when ISM reported a 24% gap between men and women.

The pace of pay raises offers one statistical explanation for this. While men’s salaries have risen 8.2% since 2015, women’s saw slower growth, recorded at around 3%.

The one exception to this gap was for chief procurement officers (or similar titles). The average CPO salary in 2016 was $259,340. For male respondents, the average salary came in lower, at $246,687. Women, however, averaged a notably higher rate of compensation: $299,509.


Source: ISM 2017 Salary Survey

Persistent gender pay gaps aside, it still pays to be part of the procurement elite. ISM found that the top 10 percentile of earners had an average compensation of $295,887, up 11.2% from $266,166 in 2015. For the industry’s top earners, the top 5 percentile, that figure rose 16.4% from a year earlier, to an eye-watering average base salary of $385,981.

Perhaps that will serve as motivation for newly minted graduates interested in entering procurement. They can expect to earn several hundred thousand dollars less than the stars of supply management: emerging practitioners earned an average of $83,678 in 2016.

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