Onrec logo The Online Recruitment Resource

Women in Interim Management earning 7% less than men

Interim Managers say rates are being eroded by ëinbetweenersí

Female Interim Managers earned 7% less than men in the six months from July to December 2009, according to the latest snap shot survey of 11,000 Interim Managers from Russam GMS. Women were paid on average £553 a day, compared with £592, the average daily rate for men.

The gender pay disparity was pronounced in sales and marketing, HR and financial services but not so in general management, where women were paid an average of £650 a day, compared with £634 for men. Interestingly, the research also showed that whilst women only accounted for 12% of the database, 51% of women who responded to the survey were on assignment compared with 45% of the total number of Interims on assignment.

Russam GMS wanted to find out why women are being paid less than men and winning a greater number of jobs so it questioned Interim Managers to see if there are differences in male and female attitudes to pay and willingness to negotiate rates. The research showed there is very little difference between the way men and women negotiate their rates.54% of all Interims said they occasionally negotiate their fees with clients and Interim Providers, and 42% of men and 41% of women admitted they negotiate often. Only 3% of men and 4% of women said they never negotiate rates.

Interims were divided on the question of reducing rates - 47% of women and 43% of men said they had reduced their fees over the last 18 months but 40% of all Interims stated they hadn’t reduced their fees. Those that had reduced their rates believed it was far more profitable to work at a reduced rate than not work at all, whilst others urged Interims not to reduce their rates, stressing that Interims should compete on quality and not on price.

There was much common ground between men and women in terms of the challenges they faced. Most agreed the market was now flooded with people they termed ‘in-betweeners;’ individuals who had been made redundant and were trying out Interim Management as a stop gap. These people were squeezing the market rates and intensifying competition for jobs they stated. One Interim described the bun fight for jobs saying, “At a recent interview, 28 qualified accountants were interviewed and put through two hours of psychometric tests for one four month maternity assignment.” Others said that management consultants had also reduced their fees and were competing for the same roles.

Clients were also more cost conscious than ever said 8 out of 10 Interims. They were more specific and exacting about the skills they needed for each role and less willing to pay expenses. They urged Interim Providers to educate clients about the difference between ‘career’ Interims and ‘in-betweeners.’

Chairman of Russam GMS, Charles Russam said, “Whilst our statistics showed that women earned slightly less than men in the last six months – we have no concrete evidence as to why this is the case. There is no difference in the way in male and female view money and negotiation and they face common challenges including competition from new entrants and clients being more choosey and cost conscious. To win jobs, it is essential for all Interims to keep their skills up to date, present themselves well, be flexible and willing to travel to assignments and market themselves effectively.“