Despite being listed as one of the most stressful jobs in the world and heralded as one of the fastest growing areas of employment, meeting/event planners are still underpaid in comparison with comparably stressful jobs. This leads me to believe that meeting and event planning is still not sufficiently appreciated or respected as a profession.
A couple of interesting sound bites from a new study on planner compensation by Meetings & Convention magazine are:
1. Male planners, who are clearly a minority in this field, are compensated more than their female counterparts. Men earn about $30,000 more than female planners each year. These men tend to be a few years older, have a little more experience, and put in longer hours. However, the disparity in pay is blatantly egregious and validates why new pro-women groups like WINiT have been launched.
2. The study also shows that if you have earned a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) accreditation, you earn a higher salary no matter what your gender may be. Those who are CMP-certified take home, on average, $77,986 per year, significantly higher than the $67,851 earned by planners who are not CMPs.
The results of the study are good and bad. Good because there are job opportunities and stability in the profession. Bad because salary, gender, appreciation, and respect for the profession haven’t changed over the years. This is where strong membership associations can make a difference: Change the perception and value of meeting planning by making it more visible and prominent in the eyes of senior level executives.
As a member of a trade association, you should demand that your membership dollars are used for career enhancement programs and initiatives to raise the bar for the industry and profession that employs you. Change may be slow but without any focus or dedication to change, nothing will ever happen. Collectively, all of us in this industry can make things happen, and it’s high time this area of our industry starts to change. Will you be part of the change movement or is status quo enough for you?
Want to read more? M&C’s exclusive research on planner compensation, job satisfaction, and research can be read here: http://www.meetings-conventions.com/News/Features/2014-Salary-Survey/?cid=eltrMtgNews&p=1