2007 IAI Salary Survey: Gender Equality with Some Questions

The 2007 IAI Salary Survey is now available.

This survey was conducted from June to October, 2006. Members of the IA Institute, sigia-l, and the ia-cms list were invited to participate. A total of 575 responses were collected, compared to 319 in 2006 and 474 in 2005.

This is the first year that we added a question on gender, which provided the most interesting result coming out of our salary survey to date.

We found the gender split to be almost equal: 49% female to 51% male. Also, female IAs on average make slightly more than males (US$87,500 versus US$85,300). Looking closer, we found more males in both the Under US$20,000 and Over US$150,000 categories. Removing the upper and lower categories from the calculation, women still held a lead in salary earned; however, in neither case was the difference statistically significant. The modal response for both genders was US$100,000-US$109,999.

Still, men outnumber women nearly 2 to 1 in the Over $150,000 group. We ruled out an industry glass ceiling effect by isolating respondents with Chief, Lead, Director, President, Vice President or Principal in their titles. While there were 14 more males in these positions (just 2.4% of the survey population), women in this group as a whole still earned more.

So why are there more men making over $150K if titles are more or less equal? The answer could be education. Men earning more than $150K were more likely to have a masters or doctorate degree. Men also were more likely to hold the Principal/President role, indicating that entrepreneurialism could be a factor. Of respondents whose titles were President or Principal, eight were men and only 3 were women. For next year, it will be interesting to know the academic areas the higher degrees represent, and how many people in these higher positions are running their own shops.

Other interesting findings:

  • The modal earning group is US$100,000-US$109,999, representing 10.8% of all respondents, a significantly larger percentage of respondents than any other earning category for this question.
  • Of the 575 responses; 71.1% were from USA, concentrating in the Northeast and Western states. Of the remaining geographic regions, 6.8% were from the United Kingdom, 5.3% were from South America (mostly Brazil), 4.4% from Canada and 3.9% from Australia/Pacific Rim.
  • Strategic IA (81.0%), User testing (80.9%) and other user research tasks (80.5%) were the most commonly cited tasks performed by respondents. Very few specific tasks make up more than 50% of anyone's working day. Interaction design, while mentioned by 75.8% of respondents appears to be a clear specialty, with 24.0% spending more than half their day on Interaction design tasks. The only other specialty task that comes close is Strategic IA, to which 10.3% of respondents devote at least half their day. Some respondents have requested that we add more management level tasks to next year's survey. Indeed, 73.9% of respondents have project management duties and more than half perform general business consulting and other non-IA administrative tasks.

This is only a small portion of the findings for this year's salary survey. If it piques your interest, visit the full survey results and analysis at:


Noreen Whysel
IAI Operations Manager

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