Costco employees are more likely to be white and male than customers, and their sales are higher than those of their male counterparts, according to a new report by Human Resources Analyst Jennifer Lee and Costco customers.
“The takeaway here is that Costco is a female-dominated business, with women and minorities earning less than their male peers,” Lee said.
Lee says that while it’s true that female employees earn less than men, this gap isn’t as large as it might seem, since they are underrepresented in customer service, retail, and the sales force.
“This is one of the reasons that costco is the exception rather than the rule, and why it’s so hard to quantify its gender gap,” Lee wrote.
Lee and her team looked at nearly 40 years of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that women earned 80% of all associate sales associates and associate marketing managers and 85% of associate sales and associates in retail and wholesale.
Lee, a PhD candidate at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, says that her team found that female associates earn significantly more than their female counterparts in sales, and that sales associates who were female had higher wages than those who were male.
“Costco is certainly not perfect,” Lee says.
“There are still gaps that persist.
It’s possible that we may not be seeing the full impact of gender in the workplace in 2020.
But as a business, we’re seeing the potential to improve the way we do business, and I think we have the tools and the resources to do so.”
Costco and its competitors are struggling to close the gender gap in their sales, with a 2014 study finding that women make 77% of sales associates at the company.
That number has been on the rise since then, according a 2017 study by the consulting firm Deloitte, and it’s expected to climb to 90% by 2020.
Lee says that there are some clear signs of progress, but there are more barriers to closing the gap than just higher salaries.
“One of the barriers is that the female sales associates are often underrepresented on the sales team,” Lee explained.
“I think this is a more of a problem in the retail space, as it relates to customer service.”
Costcos sales and marketing teams are often made up of female and/or minority employees.
And while there are also more than 40% female associates in the wholesale department, the majority of them work in retail or wholesale.
While this isn’t a surprise, it’s a point Lee says Costco needs to address.
“While we have made progress in addressing gender disparities in the sales and customer service teams, there is still a lot of work to do,” Lee concluded.
“The most important takeaway from this research is that women still make up less than half of sales and associate sales employees and associate marketers.
The challenge for us is to be more inclusive of all people regardless of their gender and make our companies more welcoming to people of all backgrounds.”
CostCo will be introducing an equal pay policy this summer, and Lee says the company will also be looking to address the gender pay gap in its senior management and in sales by 2020, as well.
The article “How to Spot the Difference in Costco Employees and Customers” originally appeared on The Next Spreaker.