Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in BarcelonaLos Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.

Our vision is to unlock the power of connectivity so that people, industry and society can thrive. We can only do this through our talented staff; a broad and varied group of professionals with a wide range of skills and experience.

Our Gender Population


Overall, the GSMA has more female employees than male employees. We have seen this trend rise marginally (+3%) since 2017.


There are more women in mid-level, intermediate and entry roles; with more men in senior positions. As a result, our pay gap is driven by the structure of our workforce, having an impact on our mean and median gender pay gap for hourly rates and bonuses.

The below data represents staff employed only by our UK GSM Association entity in line with statutory reporting requirements.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap shows the difference in pay between male and female employees in an organisation. It is defined as the difference between men’s and women’s hourly earnings expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings.

What is our gender pay gap?

Women’s Hourly pay Mean (Average)
2019 2018 2017
25.7% 25.6% 24.3%
Lower than men Lower than men Lower than men
Median (Middle)
2019 2018 2017
27.3% 29.6% 28%
Lower than men Lower than men Lower than men

When we refer to the reportable gender pay gap, the mean is taking all hourly rates for men, and all hourly rates for women, calculating the averages for each respectively, then comparing them to show the difference between the two averages. For the median, this is looking at the middle point for both men and women and then comparing them.

The current gap in hourly rate and bonus pay exists because we have more men than women in senior positions, and more women than men in entry/intermediate level positions. We continue to make a concerted effort to narrow the gap even further, during the last financial year, four out of six vacant Extended Leadership positions were filled by women.

Bonus Payments in FY19

Women’s bonus payments Mean (Average)
2019 2018 2017
36.1% 52.4% 38.4%
Lower than men Lower than men Lower than men
Median (Middle)
2019 2018 2017
29.1% 42.4% 50.4%
Lower than men Lower than men Lower than men


This year, we have seen our bonus pay differential decrease. On average our female employees’ bonuses were 36.1% lower than their male counterparts. This was an improvement of 18.3% compared to FY18.

Employees Receiving a Bonus in FY19


In FY19 more women than men received a bonus. Employees only become eligible for performance bonuses after completing three months’ service. More men than women joined the GSMA between 1 July 2018 and 30 September 2018, and, as such, they didn’t receive a bonus in May 2018 and didn’t receive a bonus in October 2018, as they weren’t eligible due to their length of service.

Pay Quartiles


We have higher percentage of male employees in our upper and upper middle quartiles. Together with higher percentages of female employees in our lower middle and lower quartiles.

When looking at the mean and median pay gap within each quartile, rather than as a whole, we can see a more even comparison of men and women’s pay. Only in the Upper Quartile is there a more significant gap with women’s mean pay being 11.1% lower than men’s. This is reflective of the male Director General being counted in this quartile.

Since 2017 there are been a reduction of 3 percentage points in the mean gap between men and women’s pay in the Upper Quartile and of 5 percentage points in the Upper Middle Quartile, 4 percentage points in the Lower Middle and -1 percentage points in the Lower Quartile, resulting in women’s pay only being 0.3% lower than men’s in the Lower Quartile.

Global pay equality

We are committed to making sure that men and women are paid fairly in comparative roles and have the same opportunity for performance bonuses.  We use external data to benchmark all of our roles globally and we review every individual’s position against the benchmark for their role on a twice yearly basis to ensure there are no disparities. The below graph shows the average position against benchmark across the organisation.


What measures are we taking?

  • Promoting women in leadership and technical roles. Since 2017, the GSMA has increased female representation on our C-Level Leadership Team from 13% to 38%. Women also hold 31% of senior leadership positions, compared to the global average of 24%.
  • Attracting, retaining and promoting female talent. Although the representation of women in the technology industry is lower than men, the GSMA has a strong track record for attracting, retaining and promoting female talent. In FY19, 87% of women returned from maternity leave and, following their return, 23% were promoted. In addition, all new opportunities are advertised internally and we have enhanced our career pathways, so the route to senior roles is more transparent.
  • Fair recruitment practices. The Recruitment team run all job descriptions through a gender bias decoder to ensure they are free from hidden bias. We base all offers on comparators and industry benchmarks rather than previous salaries to drive our pay decisions and to avoid perpetuating pay disparities.
  • Investing in training and coaching. We have invested in extensive training and coaching programmes to ensure we are developing non-gender biased talent of the future. In FY18, we launched two new talent development schemes: Contributor to Manager (C2M) and Manager to Leader (M2L). Now in its third year, 76% of participants on C2M and 67% of participants on M2L are women. Of those who have participated in the schemes, 86% of female participants on C2M and 14% on M2L were promoted within two years.
  • Driving Diversity and Inclusion. In FY19 we launched our flagship Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programme; OneGSMA, to educate staff on the importance of D&I and ensure an inclusive work environment globally. As a result, staff perception that the GSMA values diversity scored 88% (2 percentage point increase) and staff feeling able to ‘be themselves’ at work scored 83% (5 percentage point increase) in the Pulse Staff Survey in September 2019 compared to the Annual Staff Survey in March 2019.

At the GSMA we are committed to creating a transparent, diverse, and inclusive culture, where everyone, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity or gender, has an equal opportunity to thrive.

We want to create an organisation that attracts and retains the best people so we can continue to advance the mobile industry and deliver impact for our members, now and into the future.

Louise Easterbrook
Chief Financial Officer, GSMA


Click here to view Gender Pay Gap Report 2018
Click here to view Gender Pay Gap Report 2017