Gender Gap in CMA Salaries

The Institute of Management Accountants often undertake surveys in an effort to gain valuable information about their members, and the growth and change of the CMA

One of the most popular subjects of these surveys involves salaries. In previous years we have been fortunate enough to see the continuous growth of CMA salaries in comparison to their non-certified counterparts.

Unfortunately, not all survey results are positive. One noticeably disappointing result has been the continual gender gap. The 2015 salary survey looked at salary and compensation between genders across the globe, so let’s dive deeper into what these numbers mean.

2015 Gender Gap Findings

In 2015 we saw the total compensation fall slightly from previous years. Though this fall wasn’t too steep, it was experienced across all regions and both genders.

One of the most noticeable factors in the CMA salary gender gap, is that of age range. According to the most recent findings, women earn significantly less than their male counterparts the older they get.

The Americas

In the Americas, men and women aged 20-29 earn approximately the same median salary. As we move into the 30-39 age range, this drops dramatically. Men earn a median salary of $87,880 while their female CMAs in this same age group only earn $73,940.

Men aged 40-49 earn $103,750 while females only earn a median salary of $90,958. Finally, for the age group 50+, men earn a whopping $123,000, while women earn $100,000.

When broken down further, this is how much compensation women earn in comparison to men’s median salary:

Age Range Median Salary
20-29 100%
30-39 84%
40-49 88%
50+ 81%

Asia, Europe, Middle East/African Disparity

Looking at the remaining regions surveyed by the IMA, there was one major gap in data — none of these regions had enough women in the 50+ category to provide an accurate comparison to men.

In terms of individual regions, the gender pay gap in Asia decreased from 78% to 86% in the 30-39 year age range. However Asia have the largest median salary gap for the 40-49 year category where women earn only 50-52% in comparison to men.

Europe has seen the best closing of gap in the 30-39 year range, where women now earn 104%. This is vastly different from the two other age groups with data, where 20-29 years and 40-49 years earn a median salary of 63% and 65% respectively.

Finally, Middle East/Africa have some of the most unique gender gap differences of all the regions. In the 20-29 year age range, women earn a median salary of $16,406 versus men who earn $10,506. In other terms, they earn 155% compared to males.

As they move into the higher age range categories we see these numbers drop significantly. From 30-39 years, women earn 82% of the median salary, and from 40-49 years it drops even further, down to a meager 60%.

One would assume that as you rise in age, the level of experience would be greater and therefore men and women would earn more similar wages, but this does not appear to be the case.

As we see from the lack of data for these regions, there are clearly not as many women CMA’s as there are males. This is purely speculation, but this may be a result of cultural differences in terms of women working. Until more research goes into it, we will never know the reason for this large gap.

It is disappointing to see such a wide gender gap in CMA salaries, but it as a prominent issue that the IMA is keeping an eye on. For those now just entering the field we hope to see less and less of a gap and in the future, none whatsoever.

Tell me — what do you think contributes to the gender pay gap and how does it affect your decision to become a CMA? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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