Enacted in 1963, the Equal Pay Act deemed it illegal to pay men and women different wages for performing the same work under the same conditions. However, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) believes that inequality still exists to a large extent among certain groups within the supply management profession.
In addition to compensation studies in several countries that reveal similar inequalities, ISM's own surveys confirm that a gender gap remains. One startling difference has been the disparity in pay between men and women based on years of work experience.
In a 2007 salary survey, the organization found that the average salary for the male supply management professional with 11 to 20 years of experience was $99,854, while his female counterpart earned an average of $69,588. One year later, this gap narrowed only slightly, according to responses to the 2008 survey. Males with 11 to 20 years of experience earned $103,908, while females earned $82,813.
"Gender should not be a factor at all," says ISM CEO Paul Novak. "The profound transformations that have taken hold in this profession must also include equal opportunities for all on a global scale."
ISM recently issued a statement acknowledging that those gaps are still present, reaffirming its belief that "all equally qualified professionals performing at a similar level should be given equal compensation and opportunity in the workplace, without discrimination based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation."