I would be remiss to try and talk about progress when we could be walking into Corporate Gender crisis. Yep, I said crisis, and before I explain why, as this specifically relates to Procurement, it’s timely to say that we are on a tightrope.
My hope is that this blog brings attention and a spotlight to these issues.
First, the good news; there are increasing numbers of Women entering Senior Procurement, and representation matters. However, these moderate increases are quickly overshadowed when we start to take a closer look.
Let’s start with the current pay gap. For Female Senior Procurement professionals, the 2020 pay gap is 33%. It’s worth repeating, it’s thirty three percent. Now take a breath.
To understand why this is so very bad, in 2017 this very same pay gap was 15%. We have actually rolled backwards as a function and have more than doubled the pay gap in just three years. At a time where average salaries for the Procurement profession are rising, this is especially concerning. A lack of discussion and commentary on this topic means the root causes are not wholly explored, emphasising the need for more transparency, dialogue and exploration to initiate sustainable change.
Now to compare with the UK national average, where the gender pay gap has steadily declined to 7.4% in 2020. This highlights the fact that Procurement is way off the mark. And it seems that no-one is talking about it. This is not big news. And I think that is the biggest issue at hand.
In 2019 the female senior procurement professional pay gap hit a high of 35%. After hearing this number, and picking myself up off the floor, it was important to me to explore what other factors are affecting Women in the workplace.
The evidence suggests that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on Women, across industries. With Women more likely to be furloughed, have their hours reduced, or lose their jobs, we are sleepwalking into a mass exodus of Women from the corporate workplace.
For Women that are mothers, an unbalanced share of unpaid work and home-schooling is creating ‘burn-out’, negatively impacting our teams, our corporations, our families and communities.