Friday, October 30, 2009

Social Media Salary Report: Ladies, It's Not Pretty

Those of you who frequent this blog know I'm obsessed with social media salaries--I post about the lack of social media salary and title data quite frequently.

So you know I jumped at the chance to participate in Forum One Network's Online Community & Social Media Compensation survey for 2009 because by doing so I would get a copy of the results. Well, those results are out now. If you want to see the whole thing you'll have to purchase a copy; however, I can share these facts: (most of these I've taken directly from the product description; hopefully that's ok by Forum One Networks.)

  • The gap between the average male and female salaries widened, with male respondents averaging $86,644 (up from $85,423 in ’08) and females averaging $75,624 (down from $77,319 in ’08).

  • The majority of respondents reported a salary increase in 2009, but the percentage compared to last year was down, as was a significant increase in the number of respondents who took a salary decrease in 2009 compared to 2008.

  • Average overall job satisfaction was down by a fraction, from 4.2 (out of 5) in 2008 to 4.1 (out of 5) in 2009.

  • Several respondents mentioned feeling like they were being inadequately compensated because of lack of data available regarding community and social media salaries, as well as lack of understanding of community and social media ROI relative to their organization’s activities.

I'm going to pause and reflect on that first bullet point because, frankly, I am disappointed. All you read about is how females are dominating the online world: they dominate social networking sites, are seen by marketers as carrying the largest share of online influence, and they make up a rapidly-increasing share of the market for video games.

Forum One's 2008 study of this same subject found that 55% of community manager positions were held by women. While that number decreased slightly this year (52% of the respondents were women), 52% is still a majority . Why, then, the substantial disparity in incomes between male and female community managers? And why the widening gap (women make 87% of what men make, according to the 2009 survey, while last year that figure was 91%)?

It's bad enough that female social media speakers are being ignored; now you're telling me that even though women are often considered to be better suited to online community management, they're making way less than men at it?

What's up with this? What can be done to keep this trend from continuing?

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