Support Driven Compensation Survey: Looking at Gender Pay

April 06, 2016

I had a chance to look into the numbers and results from the 2016 Support Driven compensation survey. In this survey Support Pros from around the world answered questions regarding their experience, gender, city size and other factors that go into a salary. This year we had 196 responses to survey (compared to 60 last year), and we had respondents convert their salary to USD. In all the average salary of someone who took our survey was $68,438.31, nearly $3,000 more than last year.

If you’re interested in the data yourself the raw data be found here.

For me the one of the most interesting pieces of data to take a look at is the gender pay gap; so interesting I decided to spend my first look at this data only going through Men v. Women pay. This topic has filled news stories in the US recently as the US Women’s National Soccer team brought their pay disparity from their male counterparts to court.

Support Driven Men v. Women Pay



Did not disclose gender:

Gender Plot

This year we had 89 women, 104 men, and 3 declined to identify a gender who took the survey. We do see that men as a whole did make roughly 7.5% more than women; Though when we look deeper there are 3 men who are outliers making above $130,000. If we remove those 3 outliers men average $68,157.02 which brings the difference to 4.2%. It’s great to see that there isn’t a massive 20% gap that you might see in other professions, but there’s reason that can’t and shouldn’t become a 1:1 difference.

I decided to look into the pay gap between the different roles we had respondents choose that represented their current job (keep in mind there are many different ways to slice looking at gender pay, this represents how I looked at it for this post). They were:

They were:

“I help customers”



Did not disclose gender:

_I help customers_ Plot

We see the numbers nearly 1:1, this is great! The women median also hints that if you removed the two $100,000+ outliers from the men tally the women who took the survey would average more. To me, this is one of the most important measures; generally those in a “I help customers” role will be just starting out their Support Career, if there were to be a systematic pay gap it’s possible we would see it starting here.

“I lead a team (but I’m not head of support)”



Did not disclose gender:

_I lead a team_ Plot

Woof! This is where things don’t look great, but maybe the numbers are not as bad once you look deeper into the data. For one, we had 15 women who responded here, 27 men, and 1 declined to submit gender; so there were more men to skew the numbers in their favor. 8 of the men reported being in a “” cost of living city (think San Fransisco, London), while we only had 4 women from those cities. 11 of the men reported having 5+ years of experience while 5 of the women reported having under 2 years of experience. The pay gap here isn’t great, it makes more sense when I saw the men in general were living in more expensive cities and had more experience.

“I’m in charge of the entire support operation”



Did not disclose gender::

_I'm in charge of the entire support operation_ Plot

We see right away when you put the genders next to each other when they listed their role as running the entire support operation the salaries average out to be almost be 1:1. The difference here seems to be at the upper limit, 11 men make $100K+ while only 6 women meet that criteria.

Wrap Up

I’m really impressed as a profession, and a community on how we’re doing; though progress has to be made to make the gender salary gap non existent. The team lead data isn’t great to see, but I’m confident with more salaries from women reported the gap wouldn’t be as big and shedding light on the gap can help shrink it. We had 37 respondents say they had under 2 years of experience and 17 of those were women who help customers. Knowing how talented the Support Driven Community is, that means we have 17 possible women future team leads and are now equipped with more information in their salary negotiations.

Gender wasn’t the only question we ask respondents about. If you’re interested in seeing the average pay behind the question of:

Check out the chart breakdowns I put together.

Thank you to the Support Driven #Draft room for help editing this post; especially Jim, Michelle, and Hoon. Not a member of the Support Driven Chat? Join here. I hope you have a fantastic day.

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