Survey Results – Females Compensated 14% Less than Males – BUILDING MATERIALS

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DMC has recently completed our first ever salary report focused exclusively on Sales Representatives working in the Building Materials industry in Canada. There is a huge lack of this type of information in the industry, and going into this project, our goal was to provide the most accurate, detailed, and up-to-date data related to compensation of sales professionals across the Building Materials industry.  

We are very proud of the results, and we were able to gather data specific by; Province, employment tenure, sector, channel and by identified gender across the country. From the results of over 1,300 Respondents, we have been able to reach several conclusions about compensation in the industry. One such conclusion which has been very confronting is just how deep the “gender” compensation inequality is within the Building Materials industry. Data indicates the following; 





Average base salary 






Average compensation 






Proportion of respondents 





 The above data equates to an average total compensation of $93,000 per year for respondents identifying as “female” which is 15% lower than their “male” counterparts. Additionally, only 18% of respondents identified themselves as “female”. The gender wage-gap has been an elevated topic in recent years, and something that you hear about quite often in a professional environment. However, to see the data revealing just how wide this gap remains through the results of our survey – it was certainly eye-opening. 

When you consider that 65% of females in Canada are in the workforce, it begs the questions of “why” there are less women in Building Materials, and “why” the ones that do, are not paid salaries on par with male counterparts who are executing the same function/job. This data has reinforced what we already know – that gender diversity in Building Materials is a major issue, and this is now backed up by quantitative data that we cannot ignore. 

For over a decade as a specialized headhunter I have juggled multiple positions, clients and candidates daily, and the constant questions I ask hiring managers when engaging on a new search is “how can we open up and expand the brief in order to maximize the pool of talent that we are looking within?” If you’ve worked with me before, this will be very familiar (and perhaps annoying) question! 

Now this is a generalization… but more often than not I find that hiring managers are struggling to find people, but prefer to only consider those with direct experience from within the industry – often from the same channel or directly from their competitors. Most of our job briefs look for candidates with prior like-for-like experience, rather than for people with transferrable skills for the job. As competition for candidates increases, it will be necessary to expand our mindset of what a “good” candidate looks like, to increase the pool of candidates. That will require considering talent from different industries who will be just as capable of performing the role (after some additional sector-specific training). 

Taking it a bit further – expanding search parameters will bring in more candidates, as well as increase the opportunity for more balanced gender diversity within the organizations we serve. For example, if you are hiring someone for a roofing position selling to contractors (a generally male dominated role) – if you only ever look for someone who has sold roofing to contractors, it significantly limits your pool of candidates and will typically turn up a majority of male applicants. But, if you look for someone with experience selling a wider variety of products in a face-to-face environment, and who have the capacity to sell to contractors, this will greatly broaden your candidate options – and will more likely include more female applicants. In an industry with such low gender diversity, the only way to improve is to be willing to hire talent with transferable skills from outside of it, and to hire women into commonly/historically (often) male-held positions.  

I love the building materials industry. I love the building materials industry so-much-so that I have dedicated my professional career to helping clients and candidates align themselves with the right talent and opportunities to serve their long-term goals. As a Partner in a 2/3 female-owned recruitment business specializing within the Building Materials and Construction sectors, I clearly see the need for businesses to prioritize gender-diversity, and I am a huge proponent of the benefits it brings from both an internal and external perspective.  

It is 2022 and we shouldn’t have to get into the numerous benefits of gender diversity in the workplace. It is a non-negotiable for organizations who want to thrive, and we all need to put this issue at the top of our agendas -actively actioning these steps to bring more females into the Building Materials industry, and making sure that they are being paid the same as their male counterparts.  

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