Salary Survey

Gender-Based Pay Inequity?

The women who responded to Convene's annual Salary Survey reported salaries that are, on average, 23 percent below that of the male respondents.

Meeting professionals are predominantly female, evidenced by the fact that 86 percent of the respondents to our annual Salary Survey were women. Forty-one percent of respondents said they don’t think gender-based inequity is common in the meetings industry (nearly the same percentage as last year). Yet the disparity in our survey results,  year-over-year, suggests otherwise: In this year’s survey, women earned nearly one-fourth less than their male counterparts: $77,340 vs. $100,179 a year on average. Among the comments we received on this question:

In this year’s survey, women earned nearly one-fourth less than their male counterparts.

“I think this is a very female-oriented industry, so while I don’t think there’s a whole lot of inequity between men and women, I think there’s an overall undervaluing of this industry and the skill sets required. People don’t understand that it’s not just ordering some food and calling it a day. There’s real strategy and many moving parts and details. The fact that it’s undervalued and it’s a ‘female industry’ means that women aren’t getting paid as much as they should for the work they do. That is a serious inequity in society.”

“For an industry that is so slanted towards women, the senior leadership jobs are mostly male.”

“I see in my own organization that men are paid higher even though they don’t work as hard or as many hours and even have fewer qualifications. I constantly have to prove my knowledge and strive for certifications to be taken seriously, but my male peers are ‘in the club.’”

“I’m a male and have traditionally managed all females. You make a higher salary when you prove you can bring extra value to the base demands of the job. I’m sure inequity exists in the industry, but I can say with certainty, not on my team.”


Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.