The latest Global Salary Benchmarking Report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) shows a clear gender pay gap across multiple demographics within the business continuity industry. The document suggests that the profession, and arguably society as a whole, presently exhibits some major disadvantages that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
The BCI’s study of over 1,000 business continuity and resilience professionals seeks to discover the remuneration packages that those in the industry receive, whether in terms of salary, bonus or other benefits. In addition to the global report, there are also region-specific documents for Australasia, Europe, North America, the UK and the USA.
Perhaps the most alarming finding of the report is that Europe displays the most notable pay gap between genders as, on average, males earn a salary that’s 64% higher than females. In North America, males earn 24% more, while in Central and Latin America the gap is 19%.
In Sub-Saharan Africa and Australasia, the gap drops to 12% and 11% respectively. In the Middle East and North Africa, the gap is significantly reduced with only a 3% difference between males and females. The report identifies that only in Asia do females (on average) earn more than males.
When the results are broken down by level of education, regardless of whether the respondents had the equivalent of A-Levels, an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate degree, males still earn more than females. For those with A-Levels, or their equivalent, there’s a 7% gap, and for those with a postgraduate degree there’s an 11% gap. However, for those with an undergraduate degree, males earn a third more than females.
Analysing the results on the basis of age shows that the difference in the ‘18-to-34’ category was marginal, but increases to 16% in the ‘35-to-44’ category and by up to 25% in the ‘45-to-64’ category, showing that the gap widens as careers progress. Or, more to the point, it perhaps suggests that females are not progressing in their professional business continuity careers at the same pace as males.
Experience makes a difference
Experience also affects the gender pay gap. One of the few categories where females have a higher salary than males is in the ‘0-to-9 years’ experience’ category, but this soon changes as males with ‘10-19 years’ experience’ earn about a third more than females in the same category. The gap narrows again as males with ‘20-to-29 years’ experience’ and ‘30-plus years’ experience’ earn 21% and 14% more respectively.
Whichever way the data’s broken down, in the majority of cases, males receive greater remuneration than females, even when they’re at the same level. Of course there may be other factors involved, but the results very much suggest an imbalance in pay between male and female business continuity professionals.
“As a profession, we need to do far more to ensure that there’s diversity and equality,” said David Thorp, executive director of the BCI. “We should not have barriers in place that exclude 50% of the population from wanting to be a business continuity and resilience professional. Clearly, taking home less pay at the end of the month is a barrier.”