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Oct 31, 2012

Women in the investor relations profession earn less than men

Global report finds gender pay gap persists despite experience and seniority

Women consistently earn less than men in investor relations, according to the IR Magazine Global Practice Report 2012, a research report based on a survey of more than 1,400 IR professionals.

The global IR workforce is split about evenly between women and men, yet at all wage scales and management levels, women earn less than their male peers, finds the report.

As IR department heads, 75 percent of men earn more than $150,000 per year – compared with 68 percent of women heads of IR.

At the higher end of the wage scale, the gender pay gap is much starker: 24 percent of men compared with only 13 percent of women earn more than $250,000 as heads of IR.  

At the manager level (IROs), the gender pay gap is worse. Just under two thirds (62 percent) of male IROs are paid more than $100,000 per year, while just over one third (37 percent) of females earn a six-figure wage. A male IRO is nearly four times more likely to earn in excess of $150,000 than his female peer.

The disparity persists even though the female respondents to the survey are, on average, slightly more experienced in IR than the male respondents. Forty-nine percent of female respondents have spent more than 6 years in IR, compared to 46 percent of male respondents.

Responding to the pay gap between women and men working in investor relations, Janet Dignan, founding editor of IR Magazine, says:

'Because there are so many strong and able women in IR roles around the world, it's easy to assume it's a field free of discrimination or unequal treatment. Indeed, for those of us who thought this was the case, the new research findings are something of a wake-up call.'

Her view echoes the study released last week by the American Association of University Women, which finds that women who are one year out of college are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male peers.  

The IR Magazine Global Practice Report 2012 finds the average annual salary for an IR department head is in the range of $150,000 to $200,000.

Compensation for members of the IR team is approximately half this amount, ranging from $75,000 to $100,000. IR salaries tend to be higher in North America, averaging $200,000 to $250,000 for heads of department. In Asia, a typical head of IR will take home between $75,000 and $100,000.

About the IR Magazine Global Practice Report 2012

An annual study of the practice of investor relations worldwide, the IR Magazine Global Practice Report 2012 covers everything from IR budgets and IR team sizes to earnings guidance and attendance at investor conferences. New for this year, the report pays particular attention to IRO pay and IR outsourcing. The 2012 report is based on the responses of 1,411 separate investor relations practitioners to global surveys overseen by the research department of IR Magazine between Q4 2011 and Q3 2012. Click here to find out more about the report.

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