As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has released a new global workforce report and offered some industry insights that may be surprising.
“The facility management industry has never been stronger, more accessible, or more attractive to a diverse workforce,” Don Gilpin, president and CEO of IFMA, told Facilities Management Advisor. “Women have opportunities to thrive in FM; but we must continue developing research to harness better understanding of women’s potential in our industry.”
Gilpin added, “With more than half of today’s FM practitioners expected to retire in the next five to 15 years, strategies to recruit and retain women in FM roles are vital both to the future of our profession and in building inclusive, equitable workplaces.”
IFMA’s new study, titled “Women in Facility Management: A Global Salary and Compensation Supplementary Report,” is a general overview of the demographics and backgrounds of 3,500 professionals in the FM field.
Here are some key takeaways:
Men still dominate the industry. The report found that women account for 22% of the global FM workforce. However, this mix is not equal across regions, with North America having the largest percentage of women facility managers at 25%.
The report also determined that there are fewer women near retirement age (>56 years old) than men in FM. Therefore, the report said employers may consider the recruitment of women a “strategic advantage in addressing the aging FM workforce and related attrition challenges.”
Although many industries have gender pay gaps in favor of men, the report suggested that’s not the case for the FM industry.
In fact, the report found that women receive similar pay as men for entry- and early mid-level FM jobs. Through the first six years of experience, that range is $71,000 to $91,000 annually.
However, as FM professionals ascend in their careers, women receive significantly higher pay than men for more senior-level FM jobs. The report said this break typically occurs after 10 years of experience in the industry. Past this point, women with mid-level jobs average $115,400 annually whereas men earn $91,000.
Notably, the report said women seeking work are also finding FM jobs much faster than men are at every job level.
While more women are being hired for entry-level FM roles, the gender remains underrepresented across the industry. Furthermore, the report found many women are not staying in the FM workforce to reach senior-level roles.
Why are women exiting the FM profession at a higher rate than men? According to the report, it’s not because of a lack of education, low pay, or limited industry demand. The study concluded additional research is necessary to explore other factors.
IFMA’s full report, which includes more statistics and success stories of women in FM, is available for free download at ifma.org/store.