The sales sector is a fast paced industry that applies to almost every service or product that you can think of, as such, opportunities can arise that lean more towards a specific gender. For example, you would often expect more women to work within cosmetic and beauty sales than men but how does this compare to the actual numbers?


Which gender is more active in their search for marketing roles?

Based on data compiled in the Simply Sales Jobs’ 2018-19 annual report we can compare which genders are browsing each job category to gain an insight on who is actively looking to pursue a career in the industry. Here’s an example from the data collected:

In this article, we will look at the following roles:

⦁ Media Sales
⦁ Telecom Sales
⦁ Building Services
⦁ Business Sales
⦁ Insurance Sales
⦁ Sales Training
⦁ Cosmetic Sales
⦁ Industrial Sales
⦁ Environmental Sales
⦁ Agricultural Sales

Media Sales roles saw over 10% more men searching for them in 2018/19 (55.08% vs 44.92%), suggesting that it is not a particularly desirable sector for women to work in.

Meanwhile, Telecom Sales was significantly more desirable industry for men, with a huge 71.31% of job seekers viewing these roles being male.

Sales roles within the Building Services market were also heavily dominated by men, with 61.83 of male job seekers searching for these roles compared to females (38.17%). Business, industrial, environmental and agricultural sales roles also saw a similar lean towards men looking at these vacancies with an average of 65.35%.

In fact from the industries compared in this article, the only sectors clearly dominated by women is Cosmetics, followed by Charity Sales. This is a clear indicator that employment within the sales industry is very male orientated with the exception of a few niche sectors.

The gap is closer in terms of providing Sales Training, although the difference is still relatively big compared to other sectors in the UK that pay a similar wage.


What about the top jobs?

Research shows that although things are improving, CEO and Managing Director roles are still very much filled by men and this is no different within sales.

According to analysis performed by Union Learn, 67% of sales and marketing directors are men, earning an average of £83,720 a year. The statistics also show that the female average weekly pay falls £220 short of their males counterparts (£1450 compared to £1670).

In the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2017, the Sales and Marketing industry ranked 171th of 364 industries in the UK when comparing gender pay gaps.

However, there was some good news for women last year, with research conducted by Business News Daily between 2009-2017 showing that the amount of women filling Sales Manager roles increased by 43%. The seventh largest improvement based on male-dominated roles included in the research. The data also showed a clear trend in the amount of women moving into management and chief executive roles.

Research was also conducted on roles which were typically dominated by women, during the same time period, 58% more men filled retail salespeople roles, 43% more insurance sales agents & 40% more telemarketers.



At first glance the figures above show that the sales industry is still a more popular career choice for men but this dominance appears to wane each year. More and more women are finding success in landing the highest paying roles such as; CEO, MD and senior management roles but despite the number of women in these positions growing, efforts still need to be made to close the gender pay gap.

Sales, like any industry in the UK is making strides to improve to balance between men and women in the workforce as well as moving towards more equal pay but this will not happen overnight due to decades of inequality and a previous lack of women actively pursuing a career in the field.

Sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and technology are still more attractive to men according to our research but this is likely to change as employment within the United Kingdom evolves on the whole.

The sales industry is a lucrative and challenging career choice for both genders and efforts are being made to create a fair balance.


Want to see the full breakdown? You can download our latest annual report below:

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