We are so delighted by the worldwide coverage of our 2014 Salaries in Purchasing & Supply Management Report – one of the free benefits of a Basic Membership in the Next Level Purchasing Association. The publications that covered it include Supply Chain Management Review, Spend Matters UK/Europe (twice), My Purchasing Center, Logistics Management, Supply Chain Matters, PI Window on the World, and Spend Matters.
Several of the reporters who covered this report keyed in on one of the shocking revelations: that female procurement professionals in North America are paid substantially less than their male counterparts. But beyond just summarizing the data, some of those reporters offered suggestions on how to use it. Spend Matters UK/Europe’s Peter Smith was one of them who did so most articulately.
Our report “might be a wake-up call to women in procurement,” he wrote. Women “might want to make sure you’re not the victim of unconscious or indeed conscious discrimination in your organisation…You might be able to use an external salary survey to help.”
I agree. Here are more of my thoughts on the matter.
You see, people often benchmark new salary offers against what they’ve always made. Employers also often determine a salary to offer to prospective employees based upon what those prospective employees made in the past. That is why they often request the salary histories of applicants. When that type of benchmarking is done, salary growth is restricted.
As an example, when I was being pursued for my last procurement job before founding Next Level Purchasing, I had a slightly uncomfortable conversation with the head of procurement for that then-prospective employer.
He had asked what my desired salary was. He then asked what my current salary was. There was a substantial difference. Not to sound arrogant, just realistic, I knew I was a rising star in the procurement world and knew what I would be worth to an organization.
He responded to my salary demands by saying “Oh! My boss usually doesn’t like to offer people more than 10% above what they are making.”
I don’t know if that was an employer’s salary negotiation tactic or the truth, but it didn’t matter.
I said, “I already have a great job that I love. There’s no way I’d leave it for a mere 10% increase in salary, especially when I would be moving to a higher-level position.”
Long story short, I got the job and I got the salary I was shooting for.
However, if I had used my then-current pay as the benchmark for the salary I would accept, I would have been paid much lower. And I think that’s the reason that – despite the immense strides we’ve made towards equality in multiple forms in North America – women’s salaries remain lower than men’s as if was still the 1960’s. Women’s pay was lower before and, as long as historical pay is the benchmark for pay in the immediate future, women’s pay will remain lower.
It’s time to change that.
It’s time for a new benchmark.
Our salary report provides just that.
If you haven’t gotten it, get it*. Use it. Change the world.
* To get the report, log into the Members’ Area of the NLPA website and, once logged in, go to the Library tab in the Members’ Area. Not a member? Get a free Basic Membership at http://nextlevelpurchasing.com/procurement-association.php or a low-cost Premium Membership at http://nextlevelpurchasing.com/procurement-membership.php.
To Your Career Success,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer – Next Level Purchasing Association
Author – The Procurement Game Plan
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