The gender pay gap has been a key focus of many debates and academic reports for many years, and as society evolves, you would expect - or maybe hope - that more modern industries, particularly hyper-modern shifts like influencer marketing, are not seeing the same levels of disparity.
But evidently, such gaps do remain. A new report from influencer analytics company HypeAuditor has found that, on average, male influencers on Instagram are earning more than female influencers, with the gap between each rising significantly in higher audience tiers.
For its report, HypeAuditor conducted a survey of more than 1, 600 influencers from over 40 countries, giving its researchers a broad spectrum of data. Regional variation, of course, and respective approaches to gender equality, could also have some impact on the final tally, as could the split of respondents - HypeAuditor says that 69% of the respondents were females, with the remaining 31% obviously being men. That means that there's also a larger diversity of female responses within the data set, broadening the scale - but still, at 1, 600 responses, the numbers are likely indicative.
HypeAuditor has split its report into four categories, looking at prices charged 'per post', 'per story', 'post and story' and 'post, story and video (not IGTV)'. And the data shows that the divide between pay rises as we move up through each tier.
First off, on charges for a basic post partnership:
As you can see, there's a 7% differential between the average price charged by male influencers over females.
That divide broadens in the 'Stories' category:
Note also that the prices also vary significantly based on how many followers the influencer has.
Those same differences are even more pronounced in the 'post, story and video' category:
In part, this could be due to the fact that there are seemingly (based on previous research) fewer male than female influencers on Instagram - though HypeAuditor does note that in its analysis, it found that there's an equal number of male and female creators on the platform.
But regardless of that consideration, the data here would suggest that there is a pay disparity, which is something that, ideally, should be addressed as the influencer marketplace evolves.
Of course, there are no set rates or rules in influencer marketing - there's no industry standard, as such, or a defined threshold to what the right price/s should be. Which actually could be more concerning - in the absence of defined benchmarks, these findings could suggest that the wage divide is inherent, that it's something which we instinctively build into our approach, without even realizing. That's been the topic of much discussion around the framework of patriarchal society, but again, it does feel concerning to see the same trends filtering into newer sectors like this.
There's more research to be done (and worth noting, a previous study conducted by Klear found much the same), but it is worth noting the gender divide within digital marketing, and considering what that means for your own business relationships with influencers moving forward.
You can read HypeAuditor's full gender pay gap report here.