SALARY SURVEY: GENDER JOB GHETTO SHOWS SIGNS OF BREAKING DOWN

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Gender salary levels favor men in each position of the survey with the exception of CEO, bearing witness to a persistent glass ceiling, albeit one with a bit more flex than found in past Salary Survey reports.

The glass ceiling no doubt would gain new dimension if job duration, age, race, mobility and young children at home could be weighted.

LOW-END CLOSER

As it is, the ceiling's most accurate portrayal in the survey is expressed at the lowest end of the payscale, where women happen to be more numerous than men and where the risk of job ghettoization is greatest.

In these "lower" reaches, the survey uncovers less pronounced disparity than the 50%-70% female-to-male pay of previous studies. Job ghettos form when a discriminated group begins to dominate a position, isolating themselves from moving up and out.

In three positions women outnumber men: Account exec, 736-359; senior account exec, 426-395; and media director, 176-93. On a national basis, women account execs receive 93% of male pay; women senior account execs get 82% of male pay, and women media directors, 84% of male pay.

LONGEVITY ISSUES

Some agency executives find age and duration make moot any discussion of a "ghetto" in such positions as account exec. A West Coast executive says male account exec hires often have been in the workplace twice as long as females and have built up higher salaries.

Regional gender spreads echo national differentials in these three areas, except for media director in the South, where more than half the female media directors make "less than $40,000," an open-ended range calculated as $30,000 by Irwin Broh & Associates in tabulating results. With most other female media directors in the $40,000-$59,999 range, their resulting $38,900 median is well below $80,000 for Southern males.

The most female-friendly region is the Northeast. Pay for female media directors there is within 92% of male pay; women creative directors are within 99% of male creative director pay; and women copywriters are within 88% of the male median.

The North Central region shows the narrowest margin for male-female salaries for account execs and senior account execs: Females come within 92% of male account execs and within 87% of male senior account execs.

CEO PAY COMPARABLE

On a national basis, women CEOs are paid $300 more than the male median. The response pool is low, though: 202 males and 32 females, with the female subset exposing the position to skewing.

The statistic probably says more about who determines pay than what is paid. Most women CEOs direct agencies that are $3.6 million or less in gross income

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