November 18, 2019

Xactly Releases New Findings: “The State of Gender Equality in Sales”

Xactly Releases New Findings: “The State of Gender Equality in Sales”

Study finds that women perform better overall, but see lower compensation on average than men in the same role and industry

Xactly the leading innovator of cloud-based sales performance management (SPM) software, released key findings from its State of Gender Equality in Sales report, which reveals new insights about the pay gap between men and women within sales organizations across 13 industries. The study is based on anonymized and aggregated Xactly data pulled from hundreds of companies and more than 100,000 employees’ salaries and commissions based on gender, ranging from associate to managerial positions. The data shows that despite being underrepresented in sales roles across nearly all industries, women tend to hit or exceed their quotas, but are paid less in salary and commissions over time. The report was first released in 2014, and offers evidence that this pay gap worsens over time: as employees progress through their careers, men are more likely to find themselves in executive positions with bigger paychecks than their female counterparts.

The industries analyzed in the report include: Business Services, Communications, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Healthcare, High-Tech Manufacturing, Life Science & Pharma, Manufacturing, Media & Internet, Medical Devices, SaaS & Cloud Software, and Travel & Hospitality.

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Highlights from the Xactly “State of Gender Equality in Sales” Report include:

  • The gender pay gap persists, particularly in technology. Across the SaaS & Cloud Software industry, men are paid more over time, despite women matching or exceeding quotas of their male counterparts. The gap illustrates that women’s commissions tend to level off while men’s commissions keep rising well above six figures.
  • Women-led teams perform better. Teams led by women tend to have higher win and attainment rates (94 percent) compared with male-led teams (91 percent).
  • Representation of women at managerial levels is lagging. The average representation of female sales managers is 26 percent across industries. Within industries like Healthcare and Travel & Hospitality, the percentage of women in leadership roles rises to 59 percent and 72 percent respectively. Manufacturing, Communications, and Technology have the lowest representation of women at the managerial level.
  • The pay gap increases as women progress in their careers. Based on median salary across industries women in direct sales roles (Account Executive) earn 22 percent less compared to their male counterparts.  However, with women in leadership roles, the pay gap widens to 25 percent.

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“We originally released this report in 2014, and the consistent takeaway remains that women outperform men when it comes to winning deals and hitting their quotas, and they are not paid equally. In fact, many industries today still have incredibly low representation of women across their sales departments,” said Chris Cabrera, Founder and CEO of Xactly. “At Xactly, we use this data to ensure that we provide fair pay for men and women with the same experience across the entire company, and are diligently working to increase the representation of women in sales leadership roles. The findings of the report shed a light on the areas where sales organizations can and must improve, and serves as a reminder to all companies that we still have a lot of work to do to reduce gender bias in the broader workplace.”

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