Human Capital & Careers

Gender Gap Endures for Finance Salaries

Total compensation did rise more swiftly last year for women than for men, but women are still paid considerably less.
Stephen TaubJuly 22, 2004

The gender gap for finance and accounting managers continues to narrow — but women are still paid less than men, based on more than 1,600 responses to a survey by the Institute of Management Accountants published in Strategic Finance magazine.

In 2003, the survey found that the average salary for these managers rose 4.7 percent, to $87,108, and total compensation increased 5.8 percent, to $99,620.

The average salary for men, $94,314, far exceeded that for women, $72,773. Total compensation did rise more swiftly for women (7.2 percent) than for men (6.2 percent). Even so, the average total compensation for women stood at $81,121 — still $27,000 less than that for men, $108,841.

Regarding the proportion of women and men in senior management, the survey found that women (18 percent) and men (19 percent) enjoyed almost the same representation.

However, the survey also found more women in middle-level positions (42 percent versus 37 percent) and entry-level positions (22 percent versus 13 percent) and fewer in top management, (12 percent versus 26 percent), which may also explain part of the difference in total compensation.

Other findings:

  • Men and women who hold a professional accounting certification generally earn 19 percent more than those who don’t.
  • Average salaries increased in 2003 for all locations and business sizes except for companies with between one and nine employees.
  • The average salary and average total compensation increased most for individuals in the finance, insurance, and real estate industries.