Gender pay gap persists: Men earn 26% more than women in search marketing

In (not) a shocking twist, men earn an average of 26% more than women in search marketing, according to a new Search Engine Land survey.

In particular, men earn significantly more than women in senior positions. 

Additionally, the data revealed that women were more likely to have changed jobs or received promotions more recently than men, highlighting the ongoing churn in the job market. 

This article will dive deeper into the survey’s key findings, examining the implications for professionals and organizations in the surveyed regions.

Overall, men earned 26% more than women. Despite advances in gender equality and the growing number of highly competent and qualified female marketing professionals, it remains a pervasive problem. 

Men earn 26% more than women
  • Men: $105,250
  • Women: $83,265 

These results, based on a sample size of 267 individuals, suggest that gender pay inequality remains a persistent issue in the surveyed regions.

This pay gap can be attributed to a combination of factors, including:

  • Systemic biases.
  • A lack of transparency in compensation policies.
  • The underrepresentation of women in senior leadership roles.

Men in senior positions earn nearly 30% more than women. Continuing on the last result, we found that men in senior positions earn nearly 30% more than women in similar roles. 

Men in senior positions earn nearly 30% more than women.

For senior and management positions, the average salary for men was 7% more than women, the data revealed:

  • Men: $81,032
  • Women: $75,793

However, the gap widened significantly in the average salary for VP/C-level positions:

  • Men: $154,905
  • Women: $121,305

That’s a 28% difference. 

Why the disparity? These findings, based on a sample size of 128 individuals, highlight that income inequality often stems from deep-rooted systemic biases, workplace discrimination, and entrenched cultural norms that favor men in leadership roles. 

It can also be exacerbated by the “glass ceiling” effect, where women face invisible barriers to advancement and are consequently underrepresented in top management positions. 

As a result, the gender pay gap in senior roles perpetuates the gender power imbalance within organizations, undermining the principles of fairness and equal opportunity.

55% of women were promoted or changed jobs in the last 12 months, vs. 47% of men. The survey results indicate that women were more likely to have changed jobs or received promotions more recently than men.

Women changed jobs / promoted more recently than men.

The data showed that among the respondents, 55% of women had received a promotion or switched jobs within the last year, compared to 47% of men. 

Specifically, 20% of women had done so within the last 6 months, while 33% had done so within the last 6-12 months. In contrast, only 19% of men had done so within the last 6 months, and 28% had done so within the last 6-12 months. 

These results are based on a sample size of 267 individuals and suggest that women may be more proactive in seeking career growth opportunities or may be experiencing turnover at a higher rate than men. 

However, there are also several reasons that could support women changing jobs at a faster rate than men. 

  • Work-life balance: Women often bear a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities for children and elderly family members. As a result, they may need to leave jobs in search of more flexible working conditions or to focus on their families.
  • The gender pay gap: Women may become frustrated by the persistent wage gap and leave their jobs to pursue better, more equitable opportunities elsewhere.
  • Lack of advancement opportunities: The “glass ceiling” effect can limit women’s career progression, leading to frustration and a decision to seek better prospects in other companies or industries.
  • Workplace discrimination and harassment: Experiences of gender-based discrimination, bias, or harassment can create a hostile work environment, prompting women to leave their jobs in search of more inclusive and supportive workplaces.
  • Career breaks: Women are more likely to take career breaks for family reasons, such as maternity leave, which can impact their long-term job stability and tenure.
  • Insufficient support systems: Many workplaces lack adequate policies and support systems that address the unique challenges faced by women, such as maternity leave, childcare assistance, and flexible working arrangements.

Men are slightly more satisfied with their current roles. Both women and men reported high levels of satisfaction with their current roles, according to the survey results. However, women reported slightly higher when it came to “extreme satisfaction” levels compared to men:

  • Extremely satisfied in their roles: 27% of women; 24% of men.
  • Somewhat satisfied: 45% of women; 56% of men.

The proportion of women and men who were neutral or somewhat unsatisfied was similar: 

  • Women: 11% and 14%, respectively.
  • Men: 10% and 9%, respectively. 

Only a small percentage of both men and women reported being not satisfied with their current roles. 

Women and men are satisfied with their current roles, men slightly more so.

These results, based on a sample size of 267 individuals, suggest that overall, professionals in the surveyed regions are content with their current positions, although there may be some slight differences between genders.

Why men may be more satisfied. A few possible reasons:

  • Higher pay: Men tend to earn more than women on average due to the existing gender pay gap. This financial advantage can lead to increased job satisfaction, as they may feel fairly compensated for their work.
  • Career advancement opportunities: Men are often more likely to be promoted and hold leadership positions within organizations, which can lead to increased job satisfaction due to greater decision-making power, autonomy, and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Lower caregiving responsibilities: In many societies, men have traditionally had fewer caregiving responsibilities, allowing them to focus more on their careers. This can lead to a greater sense of professional achievement and satisfaction.
  • Greater representation: Men often see more representation in their respective industries, which can contribute to a sense of belonging and validation, thus enhancing job satisfaction.
  • Workplace culture: Men may experience fewer instances of gender-based discrimination or harassment in the workplace, which can create a more comfortable and supportive environment, leading to increased job satisfaction.
  • Societal expectations: Men may experience less pressure to balance work and family life, as societal norms have historically assigned primary caregiving roles to women. This may allow them to focus more on their careers, leading to higher job satisfaction.

About the data. The data was collected between Jan. 11 and 23:

  • 510 total responses – most did not answer all questions.
  • 65% from North America, 20% from Western Europe and 13% from elsewhere.
  • All salary results were based on data from individuals in North America/Western Europe.

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About the author

Nicole Farley

Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.

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