The Numbers.

While the influencer marketing space may be predominantly female, there is still a wage gap present: the gap between White influencers and influencers of color. It’s no secret that women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations. We all have heard stories or have had first-hand experiences highlighting this troubling fact. As the dialogue has evolved, and as more women reach leadership roles in business and government, the wage gap has narrowed, however there’s still much work to be done. If the average woman earns less than the average man, that means that women of color are trailing even farther behind.

Let’s take a quick look at some numbers. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducted a study in 2017 that looked at the gender wage gap by occupation as well as by race and ethnicity. Out of 121 occupations researched, there were only two occupations in which women’s median earnings were slightly higher than men’s (dining room/cafeteria attendants/bartender helpers; and wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products). On the flipside, the study found that there were 107 occupations in which women’s median earnings were 95% or less than men’s – meaning a wage gap of at least 5 cents per dollar earned by men.

A few stats:

  • For all occupations considered together, Hispanic women have the lowest median earnings.
  • Black women have median weekly earnings of 61.7 percent of the median weekly earnings of White men.
  • Both Asian men and women have the highest median weekly earnings. The earnings ratios for Asian women compared with Asian men, at 74.8 percent.

A Look at Influencer Marketing and Gender

In a 2017 study conducted by marketing agency Influencer, research showed that female influencers in the United Kingdom are out-earning men with sponsored content and collaborations with brands by over a third. How’s that for a gender gap!

The study’s findings outlined how a female influencer with 100,000 followers can earn up to £41,600 ($52,956 USD) from two sponsored posts a week, whereas a male influencer would earn something more like £31,200 ($39,717 USD) for the same work.  

This means that in the world of influencers in the UK, men earn about 26% less than women in the same field.

Ok, Now Consider Multicultural Influencer Estimates

Using the numbers from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, referenced above, the median earnings for women in 2017 were as follows:

White women: $849 | Black Women: $657 | Hispanic Women: $603

Then, using the numbers from the UK study, a female influencer with 100,000 followers can earn up to $52K from two sponsored posts a week. This would break down to $500 per post or $1,000 per week.

This would mean that Black women would earn: $386 per post (or $772 per week) and Hispanic women would earn $355 per post (or $710 per week)

This means that in the world of influencers, influencers of color may earn about 23% – 30% less than White women.

Of course, these conclusions are anecdotal and using the scarce data available, but given what we know about the gender earnings gap and then the color earnings gap, we can assume that the discrepancy is real.

“Have you noticed any signs that there is a pay gap in the influencer marketing industry? If so, what kinds?”

This post was adapted from a presentation given by Stacey Ferguson, CEO of Blogalicious, at The ME Experience :: Quebec City in partnership with Women In Travel Summit.

Up Next: Navigating the Pay Gap for Multicultural Influencers: Part 2

Stacey Ferguson

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