Study: Staffing Industry Sees Gender Parity but Wide Pay Gap Still Persists

The WBC Staffing Council – a workstream within the Women Business Collaborative (WBC), in partnership with executives representing staffing industry associations American Staffing Association (ASA), National Association of Professional Staffing (NAPS), Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) and TechServe Alliance,  today announced the dissemination of their initial survey of 489 companies on gender diversity and equity within the U.S. Staffing Industry. The survey found that the percentage of women executives in the staffing industry is not above 20%

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In late 2020, the WBC Staffing Leadership Council launched its efforts to accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion in staffing industry.  Their initial efforts called for a coordinated approach to providing the awareness of the status of diversity across the industry, as well as subsequent efforts to guide efforts towards a more balanced environment. The initial survey results largely reinforce our perception of opportunity to improve both representation and compensation equity from a gender diversity perspective.

Key observations from the survey include the following:

  1. There is a profound pay gap between women and men – both within the industry and across the U.S. as a whole.
  2. The staffing industry has a fair balance of men and women across its workforce, however imbalance occurs as leadership levels increase, with an underrepresentation of women in senior leadership roles.
  3. Women CEO’s bring a unique perspective to leadership – they are more likely to drive initiatives that create a stronger more balanced culture (including priorities around diversity).
  4. There is a lack of racial diversity across this industry with people of color comprising well under 10% of all staff.

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“The data in this survey and dashboard this represents a significant opportunity to drive opportunity for promotion and pay equity in leadership roles” states Edie Fraser, CEO of the Women Business Collaborative.  “The staffing industry supports the employment of nearly 10 million job workers on an annual basis.  By encouraging a more diverse and equitable workforce composition across those businesses supporting this industry, we will by default better represent the workers we employ.”

The WBC Staffing Leadership Council has made the results of the survey available for review and analysis through a dynamic data analytics dashboard.  Over the next several months the Council will begin to release a series of insights and observations resulting from our review of the survey results. This work will be done in collaboration with the work along the 9 Action Initiatives of the WBC which focus on ensuring equal position, pay and power for all women across all industries and throughout the pipeline.

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