As a freelance market research writer (my service sheet is here), I regularly check my public profiles to make sure they’re up to date. This time, I checked my profile on Savio, a marketplace connecting market research buyers with research experts, which is maintained by GreenBook.
After clicking around the website for a bit, I realized that every researcher’s hourly rate was completely and easily transparent, not hidden behind multiple clicks and privacy walls. My brain gears sped up….
People don’t talk about salaries which is a problem. Freelancers don’t know if they’re being paid what they deserve. Women don’t know if they’re being paid less than their equivalent male counterparts. So in that regard, I have to thank Savio and Greenbook for opening the black box and helping researchers see a piece of reality.
I downloaded the data and removed the business profiles. That left me with 191 individuals who provided an hourly rate, country, and the types of work they do. I manually gendered all the profiles. Obviously, I may have gotten a few wrong as I am not the gender police (much better said by Effin Birds) – 83 women, 107 men, and 1 unknown.
As all good data people do, I started with a frequency distribution. A few things were immediately apparent. 1) 3% of men and 4% of women VASTLY undervalued themselves. If you have listed an hourly rate under $50 per hour, go to your profile right now and FIX IT. I never want to see an hourly rate less than $50. From any freelancer. For anything. 2) 6% of men and 2% of women listed stunningly high rates, a couple over $1000 per hour. These rates might be for bragging, for negotiating, or for real but if you can command them, more power to you. 3) Women were far more likely to undervalue themselves while men were far more likely to overvalue themselves. [“THAT was a pencil in the neck moment!” -Luke Sklar]
Maybe group averages would paint a different picture but nope. Across all 191 rates, women asked for 81% of what men did – $168 versus $207 per hour.I tried excluding outliers from 12 people whose rates were below $50 or above $500. Women still asked for 81% of what men asked – $153 versus $189 per hour. I then focused on the three countries with at least 8 researchers. In Canada, two women and myself listed rates that were a paltry 40% of what five men listed. Among 123 US researchers, women asked for a somewhat better 80% of what men asked for. I am thrilled, though, to offer a huge hurray to the 14 researchers in the UK where hourly rates listed by men and women were equal. (Okay, women can increase their hourly rates by $5 in the UK.)
Maybe it’s because women do “less valuable” work so I tried grouping by the 25 different type of work people specified they did. Major caveat though – these data do not account for the fact that someone might charge different rates for different types of work.
I’ll pick out two examples from the chart since it’s a little bit complicated and uses two axes. At the left of the graph, among people who offer legal research services, women specified an hourly rate of $169 compared to men at $136. Thus, women listed a rate that was 124% of what men listed. There exist four categories of work where women listed a higher hourly rate than men – Legal Research, Field Services, Recruiting, and Support Services.
Second, at the right of the chart, among researchers who conduct Mystery Shopping, women listed an hourly rate of $138 compared to men at $225. Women listed a rate that was 61% of what men listed. There exist 21 categories of work where men listed a higher hourly rate than women.
I don’t know if these differences are because women undervalue themselves or because men overvalue themselves. I don’t know how much of these differences exist for bargaining or bragging purposes.
But I do know this. As much as I love statistics, t-tests and chi-squares aren’t necessary to determine the likelihood that these results are due to chance. Correlations and Cohen’s D aren’t necessary to determine whether the effect sizes are meaningful.
Women ask for less financial compensation than do men.
Women, my advice to you is simple. Give yourself a raise. Give yourself a giant fucking raise. (I’m channeling my inner Cindy Gallop and I urge you to follow this amazing woman on Twitter or LinkedIn and personally talk about your salary with her here.)
If you’re currently in the $50 to $99 bucket, up your rate to land in the $100 to $149 bucket. If you’re in the $200 to $249 bucket, give yourself a raise into the $250 to $299 bucket. Don’t think twice, it’s all right.
If you’re curious, I may have started my day claiming my worth to be 80% of what my male research colleagues felt they were worth.
It sure didn’t end that way.
You might wish to look at:
- The gender split in #MRX conferences: 2018 edition
- The gender split in #MRX conferences: 2017 edition
- The gender split in #MRX conferences: 2016 edition
- The gender split in #MRX conferences: 2015 edition
Welcome to my #Netgain6 MRIA live blogs. What happens at St. Andrews Conference Centre, gets blogged for all to read about. Each posting is published immediately after the speaker finishes. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any silly comments in [ ] are my own. Enjoy!
Lenny Murphy, Editor-in-Chief of GreenBook Blog and CEO of BrandScan 360
- Lenny says Canadians are the nicest, most gracious people. [yup, he’s right!]
- Researchers must become consultants, shift how we define our purpose – consult, synthesize, tell a story, take a stand
- Drivers of change
- New competitors are BI, Tech, DIY, SM – they provide data, a commodity, but they are not researchers
- Client demands, ROI, integration of data, implications and outcomes, HOW to sell more stuff
- Consumers – engagement, socialization, fun, rewards, gaming companies are valued at billions of dollars and changing the face of our culture
- Economics – cheaper, faster, better
- Human capital – changing skill sets, other countries like India can fill skill gaps (end of drivers of change)
- One third of world’s online population is online
- 6 billion mobile cell subscription – how’s that for representativeness compared to simply online, but can’t do the same kind of research with a five minute survey
- There are currently 60 mobile apps for surveys
- 90% of data that exists today was created in the last 2 years
- Current research model is a production model, data ponds, methodological rigor, objective reporting, low touch, slow to adapt, market focus
- Transition model is data rivers, curiousity, narratives, high touch, partnerships, embracing technology, people not process, regional focus
- Future model is data oceans, method agnostic,high touch, integration, leading tech, people-driven, glocal focus
- Perceived threats – in-house research/DIY, social media isn’t real research, lack of skills to compete with new entrants, research is a low cost commodity [let’s not bash individual DIY companies, let’s bash poor quality research]
- Opportunities – innovation will save us (flash will save us? no), mobile applications, neuromarketing, social media research, more data to analyze, customer centered solutions, new methodologies
- Factors for selecting suppliers – listen and understand needs, good relationship, completes on time, familiar with needs – price is not the core driver, WE created the price driven decision
- From questioning to discussing, from asking to observing, from rational to emotional, from siloed to converged, from quarterly trackers to MROCs
- Emerging techniques used today – Online communities, social media analytics, eye tracking, mobile surveys, text analystics, webcam interviews,mobile qual, mobile ethnography and all expected to double in use next year
- Clients are concerned less with methodology and more with how will this method allow me to address my issue and sell more stuff. Don’t sell “we have cati and mobile and web.” Sell “we have solve these problems these ways.”
- Researchers need to be synthesizers not project managers, need to rewrite job description and reevaluate hiring criteria
- Need biz knowledge, storytelling skills, consulting skills, ability to synthesize data [storytelling…. hm…. like, a novel…. ]
- Emerging companies are already hiring in these areas and we need to do so as well, clients are already hiring for these as well
- We want to hire psychologists, designers, moderators, developers, scientists, idea people not skills people. We need to let our current employees fulfill their potential. Your project manager just might be the most creative person there is.
- Forecast for MR – phone surveys decline, surveys become shorter, targetted panels highly valued, listening flourishes, research becomes more mobile, more data insights consultants, Google/Amazon pushing into our space, multi-methods/roles/objectives merge as one industry to deliver insight
- Differentiation does not occur by delivering data, it occurs be redesigning thinking [could not agree more – My company doesn’t sell data and processes, we sell smart thinking]
- Which companies are most innovative? Brainjuicer first, then Ipsos, Vision Critical, Kantar, Nielsen, GfK, Synovate, itracks, 20/20 research, and Millward Brown – Top 10 (Research Now is #21, Conversition is #30)
- Top companies sell the image, exude sense of innovation, branding is fab
- Many other companies on the list aren’t traditional MR companies and they aren’t very big. They are more like agencies solving problems. These tiny companies are becoming top of mind.