Gender pay gap at 28% in UK events industry

Salary survey finds gap has decreased since 2015 but still exists, caused in part by bonuses and commission payments.

The events industry still has a gender pay gap of 28% in take-home pay or 16% in basic salary, in favour of men.

That’s according to the results of the Events Industry Salary Survey 2020 by GCN Talent. The research was presented on stage during Events Events 2020 in London earlier this week.

While the gender pay gap has shrunk since 2015, when men were earning a whopping 45% more than their female counterparts on basic salary and take-home pay was 68% more, it still represents a significant disparity. 

However, the report also says: “Although women are earning over a quarter less on average, the gender pay gap has reduced in basic salaries for senior managers, CEOs and MDs – in fact, female basic salary has actually surpassed men in these tiers. 

“Results indicate that the gender pay gap in events is now mostly (but not exclusively) driven by incentive payments such as bonus, commission or profit share, which suggests that more work could be done to provide the same-value incentive opportunities to women to close this gender pay gap for good.”

The research was conducted across what GCN classified as four main job functions within the industry: sales, marketing, content and operations. The lowest paid function within the four was operations.  

The survey also found that 28% of event professionals have taken a day off due to stress, anxiety or depression in the past 12 months. And when this happened, 73% did not give the real reason when they called in sick, instead offering something “more common like a cold or migraine.”

Nearly 300 event professionals completed the survey, of whom 35% were male and 65% female. Over 88% of respondents had five years or more of experience in the industry.

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