Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health (WILMAH) Releases First-Ever Industry Gender-Equity Benchmarking Study

By January 24, 2022 Press Releases

Expert Panel at industry meeting to Detail Findings

Orlando, Florida. (January 16, 2022) – In an industry dominated by women, new light is being shed on gender equity gaps – including in pay – between men and women.  new benchmarking shows that the difference in pay between men and women is wider in Animal Health than in other industries. The Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health (WILMAH) recently released the first-ever industry benchmarking study examining gender-equity gaps. Modeled after the McKinsey Women in the Workplace study, WILMAH identifies three industry gaps with the opportunity to impact gender equity in animal health:

  • Employment: One in three women feel their perspective and recommendations are not valued.
  • Leadership: Women represent just 36% of the senior manager/director-level positions in animal health.
  • Pay: While the national pay gap between women and men is 18%, the animal health industry pay gap is 25%.

The WILMAH study pairs quantitative data from animal health industry manufacturers and distributors with qualitative data from industry employees. This partner-provided data was then evaluated against national data for comparison, allowing for validated benchmarking.

WILMAH found gender disparity begins with recruiting, discovering a ten-point gap between the candidate pool and hiring practices. However, the data show challenges past barrier-to-entry. Most women surveyed did not feel encouraged to continue their career once hired, with 87% of participants feeling left out of internal networks where business gets done.

Additionally, it was found that the median pay for men in animal health was $74,740 compared to $59,806 for women. This exceeds the national gap by seven points. The study notes that the real danger of pay gaps go deeper than a paycheck, saying “Feeling undervalued can cause women to leave the company or industry in the search for fair compensation.”

With the right support, resources and conversations, the industry can reach our goals of not only hiring more diverse candidates but also creating an environment where they feel included and supported,” said Lesli Stasiek, Secretary of WILMAH’s board. Stasiek currently serves as an HR leader at Elanco Animal Health and led the WILMAH gender equity project.

With the goal of achieving gender parity for animal health by 2025, the WILMAH study provides solutions corporations can implement to begin bridging these gaps:

  • Address employment concerns by leveraging professional job boards and technology to create a targeted recruiting approach. Ensure a diverse interview panel that is trained on bias.
  • Give women a more equitable seat at the table with tailored leadership training programs, mentorships and sponsorships. Allow emerging talent to demonstrate their capabilities to senior leaders through these opportunities.
  • Achieve industry pay equality through industry-wide sharing to inform guidelines for salary best practices. Internally, conduct analyses of pay equality and hiring practices to identify opportunities for change.

WILMAH is presenting their findings today at the Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX) during their “Creating Links to Build Gender Parity” panel.


WILMAH is a community of passionate leaders in animal health who invest in each other through shared journeys and practical, professional development. To learn more about WILMAH and its work, visit https://www.wilmah.org/.