Hays UK blog


Enabling equal pay in senior procurement roles

By Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain

Disparities in gender pay is in the spotlight with the first instance of mandatory gender pay gap reporting coming into force in April 2018. Although salary discrepancies have narrowed at almost every level of seniority within the procurement profession, our research conducted in conjunction with CIPS found that there are still large pay gaps in more senior roles.

Significant pay gaps at the top

From tactical to professional levels within procurement, including roles from purchasing assistants up to category managers, the gap in pay between men and women tends to be between 2% and 7%. While there is still work to be done to continue closing this gap, the widest differences can be seen at the advanced professional level, including roles such as heads of procurement and supply chain directors, where men report earning 25% more on average than women.

The narrowing of salary gaps at lower seniority levels indicates that women entering the profession are receiving salaries more in line with their male counterparts, with the difference at more senior levels perhaps being an ongoing consequence of historical disparity. But with 76% of women saying salary is important when considering a new role, and 70% finding career progression opportunities important, it is clear that employers need to continue enabling women to reach the top levels of seniority and adequately rewarding them for their expertise.

However, the Hays Gender Diversity Report 2017 found that 90% of women in a range of professions perceive barriers to their career progression, compared to 71% of men. Of these, 36% of women say this is to a great extent, compared to 11% of men.

Importance of career progression

Focusing on improving career progression opportunities is therefore one way that employers can help continue to close the gender pay gap in procurement. This can include third party training (such as through courses provided by CIPS) or through implementing mentoring schemes in the workplace. Communication is key to employers understanding the career aspirations of their workforce and helping both men and women to progress their career, as well as enabling professionals to better understand the opportunities available to them. Organising regular one-to-one meetings to proactively discuss career progression opportunities and put a plan in place can enable women in procurement to progress to more senior roles, and in turn help continue to close the gender pay gap at all seniority levels in the profession.

Register to join our Gender Diversity webinar and find out more about the findings of our Gender Diversity Report 2017.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Scott joined Hays in 2002 as a Trainee Consultant, and is now Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain. With over 15 years’ experience, Scott advises clients on workforce management solutions, works with the industry institute CIPS as a trusted knowledge partner, and provides strategic leadership to Hays’ procurement and supply chain recruitment experts.


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