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The Gender Gap in Accounting Salaries

The Institute of Management Accountants quantifies the salary gap between men and women in the accounting profession in its annual salary survey.

The IMA has been tracking the gender gap in accounting salaries since the salary survey began in 1989. The smallest salary gap since then was in 2006 at 80 percent (meaning if women earned $80,000, men earned $100,000). In 2012, the salary gap was 78 percent.

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The dollar-amount salary gap between women and men grew slightly last year (from $25,572 to $26,470), reversing two years of decline.

Source: IMA 2012 Salary Survey, Strategic Finance June 2013

There is no change in the salary gap from last year, breaking a three-year trend of small improvements (0.3 percent to 0.8 percent per year). Total compensation improved 1.7 percent, building on 2011's 0.4 percent improvement. Both gaps returned to approximately 2007 levels.

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57 percent of men have salaries of $100,000 or more, compared to 34 percent of women. The men earning the $100,000+ range increased since 2011 by 3.9 percent, while the women in that salary range grew 4 percent. The proportion of women exceeds men in all categories below $100,000.

Source: IMA 2012 Salary Survey, Strategic Finance June 2013

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This year, the percentage of women receiving additional compensation fell 1 percent (to 66 percent) while for men it rose 6 percent (to 77 percent of all men). The amount of women’s average additional compensation for 2012 improved to 57 percent of men’s, from only 43 percent last year. That means that the amount of additional compensation women received increased more than the additional amount men received – $5,000 versus $1,400.

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Women participants in the survey were, on average, three years younger than men, 5 percent less likely to hold an advanced degree, 9 percent less likely to hold a certification, and less experienced than men in the field in their current position and with their employer. These differences are similar to last year, though men are two years older and have two years more experience than reported in 2011.

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As in prior years, higher proportions of men occupy the top- and senior-level positions. Women increased to 36.3 percent in middle management after two years at 32.6 percent.

"The professional opportunities for women accountants are very strong. In my accounting classes, women now outnumber men. It wouldn't surprise me to see the salary gap close very rapidly in the next three to five years."
--Kristine Brands, CMA, assistant professor at Regis University, member of the IMA Global Board of Directors

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In 2012, slightly more women reported salary increases than men (75 percent compared to 73 percent), but women’s salary increases were smaller than men’s ($4,754 compared to $6,083). The average salary and average compensation for women is lower than for men for every age category. The only time women’s compensation was higher than men’s was in 2004 for the 19-29 age category.

Average salary for women is less than men’s at each level, which has not changed since 2011.

The household income of married men is greater than that of married women ($182,404 v. $168,966). The household income of single-income men is higher than that of single-income women ($177,159 v. $130,566).

Source: IMA 2012 Salary Survey, Strategic Finance June 2013

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To learn more about the IMA's Annual Salary Survey, please visit the IMA Web site.



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