The results are in for the 2018 IEMA survey

What does a 21st-century profession look like? I don’t mean the tech we use, or how we manage global supply chains; but how is a truly modern profession populated, recognised and led? We have learned lessons from the 20th century, where traditional hierarchy ruled, progression paths were rigid and diversity at the top was limited. But could our profession be described as being correctly shaped for the 21st century?

Tim Blacon

When we published 2017’s state of the profession report, I was delighted to see high job satisfaction, career prospects, buoyant optimism and salaries remained strong for IEMA members. But I was troubled to read reports of a stubborn pay gap between men and women in full-time work – a 20th-century problem, but one that clearly persists. Today, as we release the findings of our 2018 state of the profession report (see p30 or the full survey results at I am very pleased to say satisfaction, optimism and earnings all remain high, and we’re making progress on closing the pay gap, which has shrunk by 2.6%. That’s great news, but there is still a long way to go before we can claim environment and sustainability is a shining example of 21st-century diversity and opportunity. 

One reason for the pay gap is the under-representation of women in senior leadership roles, an economy-wide issue. This prompts me to ask what employers are doing to support the long-term career paths of talented, skilled and influential female workers. The same question applies to those from diverse backgrounds; how does our profession ensure workers have every opportunity to make it to leadership regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity, age, orientation, or their family circumstances? The levels of talent, knowledge, skill, and ambition in the IEMA membership – all evidenced in the 2018 state of the profession report – is beyond impressive so we have a strong base to build on. So what do we do next to ensure that, year on year, we lead the way on recognising diversity and we leave 20th-century limitations behind? I’d like to hear your views. Get in touch any time at


Tim Balcon is the CEO of IEMA

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