Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Big "O" for Women in Social Media Is Not In Their Paychecks

If you know me you know there's nothing I hate more than "top 10" lists of social media people. So naturally I clicked the link in today's Ragan's Daily Headlines email "Top 10 women working in social media" so I could revel in the stupidness of yet another meaningless "top 10" list. The title of the post, however, wasn't Top 10; it was "What’s the Big 'O' in Social Media for Women." Hm, I wasn't aware that there was a big "O" in social media...guess I've been missing out. Go figure.

At any rate, as fate would have it, the post actually turns out to be yet another interview with Charlene Li (I just blogged about another interview with her yesterday). The question that proved most interesting to me in this particular interview was this one:

Q: In the age of “She-conomy,” how are women doing when it comes to social media and social networking? Do you see a gap?

A: In general, women are on par if not ahead in the adoption of social media, and especially social networking. There really isn’t much of a gap at all in terms of adoption and usage.

Reading this both perplexes me and pisses me off because one thing is for sure: there is a very definite gender gap in terms of compensation in social media jobs. About six months ago I blogged about Forum One Network's Online Community & Social Media Compensation survey, which revealed a widening gap in salaries with respect to gender; male respondents averaged $86,644 (up from $85,423 in ’08) while females averaging $75,624 (down from $77,319 in ’08). Why the widening gap despite women's supposed edge when it comes to social media adoption?

Then a few weeks ago I saw the results of a new study about social marketing compensation which revealed a HUGE disparity in salaries based on gender: female respondents reported an annual salary of $64k, while males reported a staggeringly-higher $104k.

I don't know why I'm surprised; it's no mystery that women make less than men in too many instances to even try to link to. Maybe because I keep reading about how social media represents big opportunities for women. How women dominate the social networking scene. Etc--I won't bore you by linking to all the posts in this blog in which I already address this topic.

My question is this: why was that social marketing compensation report released well over a week ago yet nobody seems to be picking up on the fact that in the super-hot field of social marketing, men are making almost double what women are making for equivalent jobs? Seriously--that's headline worthy to me.

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