Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pharma Salaries Dip Across the Board

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The results of this year’s MM&M salary survey may be a case of the glass half full versus glass half empty conundrum.  Salaries across the board were down 5.5% but at the same time, it was the second highest average in the 28 year history of the survey.  This may come as a surprise to some given the state of competition for talent in the industry. “The growth that I’ve seen and the turnaround in the industry in the past 18 months has really caused an increase in competition for top talent, which comes with paying some money,” according to Frank Powers, Dudnyk President.  

The average salary figure, of course, only begins to tell the story as the dips in salary varied across market sector, company size and type of employer.  The biggest discrepancy, however, lies in the average salary by gender. 

Those employed by manufacturers in pharma fared “less badly” than most of their peers.  These salaries reflected only a 2.9% decline year-over-year compared to those working in agency (11.2%), professional media (6.5%) and consumer media (17.7%) settings.  Only the group classified as service suppliers and vendors showed an increase (4.7%) however this represented only 9% of the total respondents.  Some of this may be attributable to pharma increasingly looking outside the organization/industry for help with certain digital capabilities and tech initiatives—expertise that’s proved difficult to come by within the field. 

Pharma salary average employer pharmaceutical

In terms of specific market sectors, prescription pharma fared the best in a situation where there was drop-off across the board.  That segment showed only a 3.3% decline while the rest of the industry had drop-offs between 12% and 23%.  

Pharma average salary market sector pharmaceutical

The biggest disparity in average salary lies in gender with female respondents making, on average, only 75% of what their male counterparts are paid.  According to this survey, many of the upper level jobs in pharma are currently dominated by men.  The positions of President (80%), CEO (87%), Executive VP (84%), Research Director (75%) and Sales Director (84%) all skewed heavily male.  At the same time, some of the more junior positions such as Account Supervisor (65%) and Account Manager (61%) had the majority represented by women.

Pharma is actually not far off from the rest of the country in this regard.  As a generally accepted figure, women on average make about 77% of what men make in the US. 

The full results of the MM&M survey can be found here.  

We’ll have more on the latest in the field of pharma marketing at ePharma. Join us February 24-26 in New York, NY.

This piece was contributed by @MikeMadarasz

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