By Nancy Ridge
Edited by Ethel Klein
Sean Riley, director of alliance partnerships at 451 Research, presented the 2016 results of the Channel Compensation Survey to a full house of men and women on the Evolution Stage at Channel Partners Evolution in Washington D.C. last week. I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion about the results in a panel with Lynn Haber, senior editor with Channel Partners; Women in the Channel’s President Hilary Gadda, director of partner programs at TelePacific; and Vince Bradley, founder and CEO of WTG.
The disparity among salaries between men and women, especially those over 40, is shocking. The median 2016 salary for men is $96,000, but for women is $85,500; the average 2016 salary for men is $130,128, but for women is $104,947. Contrary to these facts, during several discussions I had with male colleagues at the show, most of them expressed surprise at the discrepancy and even questioned it. It was evident that men did not see a problem – in their minds it did not impact them. Some of the men I spoke to didn’t understand how it could impact the channel — they believe simply that if you’re not producing, you’re not compensated, and if you are producing, then you are compensated.
This does not only impact women, but families as a whole. With more women as the primary breadwinners and many women now functioning as single parents, being paid less for the same results means kids have less chance to get to college, elderly parents may not receive the support they need and as consumers, women are prohibited from fully participating as homeowners or in bolstering the economy.
Hilary reviewed a number of articles on the topic before the panel and found trending data that indicates women spend more of their earned income for health and education, even within a dual-income home.
There is some hope on the horizon. The state of Massachusetts recently passed a law prohibiting companies from asking for salary histories during job interviews. California is considering a similar law. For women over 40, regardless of accomplishments and contributions, salary history can work against them. HR staff are incented to hire the best talent for the lowest cost; a typical woman’s salary history that started lower and did not catch up can be leveraged against her during the hiring process. The survey showed, however, that younger women in the workforce have had some success in closing the pay gap.
Vince offered some encouragement with the stated commitment that since the inception of WTG, founded with his wife, they have followed a policy of equal pay. He stated that regular dialogue with female employees about their performance, job satisfaction and career goals helps WTG stay current with compensation.
Women in the Channel can provide valuable input and support through its mentoring program to guide women of any age on how to successfully negotiate a higher salary that is fair and better reflects parity in compensation. It won’t be easy, though. Many factors must be addressed, including the perception among most men that there isn’t a problem.
We are grateful to Informa/Channel Partners for inviting Women in the Channel to participate in the survey and the panel discussion. I am committed to keeping the conversation alive and welcome input and remarks from our members regarding their experiences.
VIEW VIDEO CLIPS
Clip 1: Nancy Ridge talks about pay equity laws and throwing cats!
Clip 2: Hilary Gadda says statistically “women are contributing more within their family financially with their own personal income.”
Clip 3: Vince Bradley says, “Of course, there are no pay discrepancy between genders within WTG, it doesn’t make sense.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy Ridge is co-founder of Women in the Channel. She currently serves as past president, board member and co-chair of the Outreach Committee. Ridge also is vice president at Telecom Brokers, where she has spent the past decade implementing her vision for creating a strong network of successful agents, engaged vendor partners and high-performing employees. Focusing on building authentic relationships while automating the processes created an environment for growth of over 300%. Ridge is active in shaping the telecom channel as a leader in the industry. She continues to strive for excellence in the dynamic and highly competitive telecom sector, never losing sight of her underlying philosophy to be of service and have fun!
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Edited by Ethel Klein, senior marketing manager, Fusion, and a member of the WiC Web Committee.