The wage gap between male and female association CEOs is closing a bit, according to ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's just-released 2006 Association Executive Compensation & Benefits Study. However, while pay for meeting professionals is on the rise overall, the wage gap between male and female convention chiefs hasn't budged.
The median total compensation is $160,000 for male CEOs and $106,000 for female CEOs. In 2004, the last time ASAE conducted the survey, the median was $164,525 for men and $100,067 for women. Among associations with more than 100 employees, the gap is much narrower, with male CEOs earning $372,000 and their female counterparts making $346,000. Overall, median total compensation for CEOs was $136,528 in 2006, down from $139,000 in 2004.
The study also found that the median compensation for meeting/convention chiefs (a director-level position) is $73,515--up from $65,000 in 2004. Of respondents, 80 percent indicated a woman held this position, making it one of the senior management positions with the highest proportion of women. (Human resources chief was the senior position with the highest number of women.) Nonetheless, male meeting/convention chiefs earn significantly higher pay, making a median total compensation of $90,385 in 2006. Women, on the other hand, earn a median of $71,750. In 2004, the median total compensation for the same position was $82,500 for men and $64,818 for women
Other findings: Median compensation for meeting planners is $50,883; $41,856 for conference/meetings coordinators; and $53,614 for exhibit sales representatives. No gender data was available for these positions.
ASAE & The Center polled 925 U.S.-based associations for the results. Of those associations surveyed, 62 percent have a male CEO, while 38 percent have a female CEO. In 2004, the ratio was 67 percent male and 33 percent female.
Total compensation is defined as base salary, plus other cash compensation (such as bonuses or commissions), plus deferred cash compensation (such as employer 401(k) retirement plan match). Almost without exception, the findings show that the larger the staff size of the organization, the greater the individual's total compensation. For example, median total compensation for CEOs with staffs of more than 100 employees is $362,000, while CEOs with staffs of 10 or fewer make a median of $103,000.
Also, since ASAE & The Center's last compensation survey, there have been declines in the percentage of organizations offering selected benefits, including retirement programs. In 2002, 90 percent of responding organizations reported offering a retirement program in which all employees are eligible, declining slightly to 88 percent in 2004, and again this year to 84 percent. There has also been a slight decline in the percent of organizations offering medical insurance (92 percent in 2006, down from 96 percent in 2004 and 2002). Dental benefits, long-term disability, and short-term disability also declined from 2004.