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2015 Salary Survey Results

The results are in for the 2015 GuildSomm Salary Survey. Thank you to all who participated!

  • This is really fascinating from a good pool of responses, particularly the jump in income correlating with moving up through the court.
    Thank you for sharing
  • With all respect, is a huge insult that female sommeliers are still earning less than their male colleagues. I've never had such discrimination in Italy and since I've relocated to Australia in 2012,   I've got the Csm certified and Wset Diploma at the first go while working 50 hours a week. Currently I'm the Head Sommelier for one of the most important Chef in Australia. Now,tell me, why should I deserve to be pay less than a man?? Again, this is a pure no-sense discrimination, and unfortunately is not the only sector where women have to struggle just because they are not men....The system

    is wrong and need to change and

    foremost take example from those

    countries where incomes are equale for everyone.

  • This is pretty fascinating data. Would it be possible to also see these numbers broken down geographically? By region and/or state?

    Thank you for compiling this data.
  • Not to say that there certainly isn't discrimination, but the sommelier role has traditionally been male-dominated. I'm willing to bet that the average experience of women surveyed is lower than men, and clearly and deservedly there's a correlation between experience and pay. Certainly, men are better represented at the Master Sommelier level which is by far the most lucrative. I'm optimistic that women are being paid equitably if you control for experience and/or certification level. Any insight GuildSomm Admin?
  • Lisa, trying to look at this data from your point of view as it brought up a great point. I found it interesting that of the responses the female pool of data was less than half that of the males. It makes me ask are there simply less female responses, less females in this datas workforce or a combination of the two well as the correlation of time/experience in the wine world. It seems like personal experience may have influence on your response and for that I'm sorry. Of course we all strive for equality, and want our peers to succeed. But with some unanswered questions, I'm not quite convinced I can reach your same conclusion.
  • Hi, your comments here make me just laugh. Do you really think that I'm talking about this because I was object of discrimination?
    And when someone else said before that traditionally Sommeliers were men, well you used the correct word: "traditionally!" Nowadays is a sector where women strive successfully like men, and considering that women life is more challenging due the family responsabilities and so on, I think we are doing a damn good job and deserve same recognition. I cannot remember where, but last year in an American state there were more female Advance sommeliers than male.
    Perhaps here no many women are talking because are afraid to jeopardize their reputation.
  • I made 24,000 dollars last year. It may give you pleasure to know that my salary, if included in this survey, would bring the male mean salary down. However, it is my choice to work in a seasonal restaurant that affords me time to study and travel. Unfortunately this poll does not include personal life choices, overall profits, and customer counts of the restaurants each of us work in.
    Should a Certified Sommelier like myself, who works in a restaurant that may serve 175 covers a night (when busy), be angry that I do not make the same amount of money an Advanced Somm whose restaurant serves 350 people daily earns?
    Everywhere I look there are women excelling in the restaurant and wine world. And I have NEVER held a position alongside a woman and made more than her... unless it was not a pooled house... and we all earned our own money. In which case the tide ebbs and flows.
    Twice you admit you "have never had such discrimination". Who do you speak for then? And why insult the other women on this website for not speaking out? Perhaps they understand the mathematical logistics the previous comments have expressed.
    And regarding a woman's life being "more challenging" due to family responsibilities... what you do outside of your restaurant work environment is your business. In no way shape or form should it EVER factor into what you earn in the workplace... let alone expecting "recognition" and monetary compensation for it from your colleagues and employers. The only thing a diaper and wine have in common is the far-fetched connection to Brettanomyces.
  • Lisa...I would be safe to bet that most of the women (and men for that matter) that are professionals on this website wouldn't want to do anything to "jeopardize their reputation" but I hardly think expressing your opinion, coupled with some actual data, would go close to tarnishing anything. I find it funny that you are trying to stand up for an unjust inequality that affects women while calling the women who are part of the Guild out at the same time.... THAT makes me laugh.... so now that we're all laughing.... Here are some facts to add to the squabble...

    This is a great read and will hopefully help clarify the elephant in the room that people choose not to acknowledge most of the time...

    yes and , the gap that is talking about is for real- and it spans way beyond the world of sommeliers. There are so many other "issues" that feed into this issue, and it is something that as a female you do your best to overcome (researching what your salary should be based on your experience, location, etc...), but at the end of the day seems to be an inequality that we will deal with for about another century... unfortunately. Standing up for equality in the right place at the right time will hopefully make this time line shorter...
    Chris- I commend you for loving what you do, and being able to take half a year off or more working at a sensational and well-reputed seasonal restaurant, but if you take half a year's salary from the males that responded who are more than likely reporting an entire working years' salary, you would most likely get your annual salary or there-abouts, so the data stays pretty spot on, no? I get what you are trying to put out there, but I don't think that has anything to do with what Lisa is saying... but I would also like to see a data bank with all of the numbers you are talking about.... it would be hard to collect with accuracy, but would definitely paint a bigger picture... or help us understand the bigger picture...
  • This is fantastic, if there is any way to make it region specific it would be even better.

    It would be interesting to see if a wage difference exists and how big it is between lets say San Francisco/LA/SD and maybe... Virginia, MA or Idaho.

    Food for thought :-)

  • Mackenzie, great post.
    The difference in salary averages between males and females above is $7,150. If we do not include the Master Somm averages, I am willing to bet Intro level through Advanced, women are actually ahead of men.
    Also, if we figure the percentage of female Masters who took this survey, balanced them out with the same number of Male Masters, and then used ONLY the remaining subset of male Masters salaries in the equation used to come up with these figures... We would all see where the monetary gap is created. I imagine those MILLIONS of dollars goes a long way to closing that 7,150 bucks... if not totally turning the averages in the female's favor.
    You will have to waterboard me to get me to tell ANY Master they do not deserve what they earn. ;)
  • Lisa, my goal was not to offend you, but to question the "whys" behind the numbers above in the post you made as I found them fascinating. Yes I made an assumption for your "why" of making the post because it was so passionalty written. In my experience passion stems from personal experience so please excuse my ignorance. Anyway I didn't mean to insult your point, as Makinzie pointed out, that gap is very real. I just couldn't pull that concretely from the data above.
  • , of course the pay gap exists beyond the world of sommeliers. I never implied that it didn't. I didn't even imply that it didn't exist for sommeliers. Please don't attempt to portray me as an ignorant misogynist because I'm hopeful that a little more analysis of these data could show that ours is an equitable industry for women to work in. Financially, anyways—culture is a different matter.
  • , I did not mean to portray you in any way and absolutely meant no offense sir... but by you saying that you assume that the data pool is coming from a less experienced female representation is assuming that the females that responded to this are... well, less experienced than their male counterparts- there is no sufficient data, facts, or anything that would lead you to this notion besides your assumption, which I am going to go out on a limb here and say is not accurate. Also saying that the role of a sommelier is traditionally a male's role, or traditionally male-dominant, is irrelevant and about as applicable to anything these days as the widespread use of a taste de vin. I agree that our industry is one that hopefully is more equal between salaries of men and women, but wouldn't know where to start reviewing data that could prove or disprove that (open to any suggestions on where to find that). I always do appreciate our male counterparts looking out for equality in our work force and appreciate you not being misogynist on both the financial and cultural levels (: Thank you!

  • It's not just our industry. Overall, women do make less than men, something along the lines of 85 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. In college, I wrote a research paper on this topic. While discrimination plays a factor, there are other considerations. More women tend to work part-time, and also are more likely to take breaks from working due to family obligations. Also women are less likely to negotiate for higher salaries than men. In my case, I do make less than the median salary for my level and experience, but I choose to work part-time.
  • , the fact that the sommelier role is traditionally male-dominant IS important. That doesn't imply that they're less capable now. What it does mean is that there are a lot more male sommeliers with 20+ years of experience, who are certainly going to be earning more than those with two years of experience. There are also more men than women who are Advanced and especially Master Sommeliers, and they are once again are the highest earners and more experienced than those with lower levels of certification. Let me reiterate, this doesn't mean women are less capable, it simply means they aren't as well represented among the most experienced sommeliers. Yet.

    It would be pretty easy to get a better picture by simply breaking these data into Male and Female categories for each experience and certification level. I hope this is possible!