How Old Are the Men In HR?

by Michael Haberman on August 2, 2010 · 3 comments


Last week I wrote post entitled Are Men In HR Going the Way of the Dinosaur. I ask the question, based upon some research, whether men are a dying breed in HR. Evidence certainly points to that. Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that, depending on what study you read, women hold anywhere from 65% of management jobs to 70%+ of all HR jobs today. The data is not clear on how many of the CHRO jobs are female, but these numbers show that most in the future will be held by women.

A corollary to this is the wages earned by men versus women in the field of HR. Over at Kim’s HR Potpourri she lists The 10 Worst Management Jobs for Women, on this list is “Human Resources Manager: Women earn an average annual salary of $57,744, which is 69% of what male peers earn.”
One of the interesting things about statistics is you can all kinds of different numbers. This is supposedly a BLS number, yet the studies I looked at show much higher numbers. These figures show women in HR management postions making 79.3% of male counterparts and in specialist postions making 73.4%. Still not on par, but as was shown in 77 Cents and Gender Discrimination: The Wrong Conclusion, written by Stephanie Thomas, there are multiple reasons.

One reason I believe, at least in the field of Human Resources, is age. Given the declining number of men you find it the field, I bet we would also find an increasing average age for men in human resources. And with age generally you see a higher wage. So as the average age of men goes up and the average age of women in the profession goes down statistics will show a wage gap. This may eventually go away as men go away from the field, or at least get reduced in the percent in the field.

I have no numbers to back this up. This is my impression and best guess from what data I have looked at. What do you think? Or better yet what do you know? Anyone have figures on the average age of men in HR versus the average age of women in HR?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Urban August 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

Hello Michael,

Thank you for noticing my post. The data I cited comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009 Data by Occupation and Gender – data for men and for women in 200 occupations (from the Current Population Survey). The median weekly wage for men in human resources is listed as $1,548; for women it is $1,072. This amounts to nearly 31% in pay disparity, and can't be explained, in my opinion, solely on factors such as age, experience, or education. Clearly, gender-bias is alive and well in the workplace and pay-disparity reflects this fact.

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat39.pdf

Best wishes,
Kim Urban, MSHR

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Michael D. Haberman, SPHR August 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Hey Kim, thanks for the response. I agree gender bias is alive and well, but not to the extent that many people would like to claim. Stephanie Thomas' 77 Cents blog post has a good analysis of that and I encourage everyone to read it.

Thanks for the input.

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HRguy October 20, 2012 at 1:23 am

One consideration is also the types of companies that hire men vs women. Even though there are less men in the field of HR, the ones that are in it, go for and many times are “preferred” by the employer in higher paying industries such as tech companies, finance, manufacturing, etc. These many times are run by or started by men who rather hire men to work with at the top. No doubt a wage disparity exists but this is a contributing factor on why the highest paying jobs go to men in all kinds of roles, not just HR.

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