Mind the (Gender) Gap


Written by:

Bio not available.

Achieving gender parity in animal health by 2025.

Women have accounted for more than half of college-educated adults for nearly 20 years; yet significant progress still must be made in reaching equivalent representation in leadership and management roles. According to a recent World Economic Forum study, it will take approximately another 100 years to achieve gender parity. The question now is if this is the trend nationally, what might it look like in animal health, where the face of our customer doesn’t always match the industry?

Eager to answer this question, WILMAH (Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health) stepped up to lead a ground-breaking industry benchmarking study partnering with key industry manufacturers and distributors modeled after the McKinsey Women in the Workplace study. By identifying the key gaps that need to be closed through this study, we can reach gender equality, which benefits women in the industry, the industry itself, customers, and the animals the industry strives to help.

The study results showed that there are three key areas in which progress can be made to achieve gender parity:

  • First – a leadership gap where at the senior management level there is a significant drop-off of women and where men are over-represented. Women have a 52% representation at the manager level but drop to a 36% representation at the senior management level.
  • Second – a pay gap between men and women in animal health of 25%, which exceeds the national gender pay gap of 18%. The gap is most prevalent at the manager and senior manager/director level roles where the median salaries are higher for males than females.
  • Third – an employment gap where there is a 10-point gap between the available female candidate pool at the college graduate level and actual hiring practices where men are more often selected than females.

The animal health industry is ahead of many on the path to gender equality, but progress is essential to creating equal opportunities and representation at all levels. This requires everyone to act, starting with each of us as an individual to WILMAH, in partnership with the industry, leveraging all resources to address existing inequalities, create more opportunities for women in animal health and close the gap by 2025.

Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health (WILMAH) was founded to meet the needs of the increasing number of women who work in the animal health field. WILMAH members unite to provide professional resources, development opportunities, and advocacy.


Image caption: Gender equality benefits women in the industry, customers, and the animals the industry strives to help.

Photo credit: istockphoto.com/Nuthawut Somsuk