ANA Study Finds Women Well-Represented, But a Lack of Diversity in the Advertising / Marketing Profession

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Javier Benito, Coca Cola Chief Marketing Officer for North America

A new report from the ANA and the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, “A Diversity Report for the Advertising/Marketing Industry,” combines three recent surveys of ANA and AIMM members that examine diversity among advertising and marketing members of the ANA. It finds that diversity in the marketing/advertising field remains far lower than what is represented in the US population, and slightly down from last year’s level, while CMO roles and their equivalents are nearly equally divided between women and men.

The report, from the It begins with an important reference to a McKinsey study:

” According to McKinsey, there is a direct correlation between diversity (defined there as a greater proportion of women and ethnically/culturally diverse individuals) in the leadership of large companies and two measures of financial outperformance: profitability (measured as average EBIT margin) and value creation (measured as economic profit margin). McKinsey found companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27 percent more likely to have superior value creation. Meanwhile, companies in the top quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33 percent more likely to have industry-leading profitability. This suggests that inclusion of highly diverse individuals — and the myriad ways in which diversity exists beyond gender (e.g., ethnicity, LGBTQ, age/generation, international experience) — can be a key differentiator among companies. Furthermore, McKinsey found that more diverse companies are better able to attract talent.”

The study found an increase in the percent of top marketers who are female, 47 percent, up from 2018’s 45 percent. Male top marketers decreased to 53 percent down from 2018’s 55 percent. However, racial diversity decreased from last year’s 13 percent to 12 percent in 2019.

Breaking that down:

  • African-Americans/blacks make up 3 percent of ANA member company CMOs and approximately 14 percent of the US population.
  • Asian-Americans make up 5 percent of ANA member company CMOs and approximately 6 percent of the US population.
  • Hispanics/Latinos make up 4 percent of ANA member company CMOs, but represent 18 percent of the US population.

The ANA made the following conclusions:

  • “At the senior leadership level, female representation is now likely at an all-time high. In fact, according to one of the study’s data points based on ANA board and AIMM member companies, 52 percent of senior-level marketers are female. And in the analysis of the CMO/CMO equivalent at ANA marketer company members, female representation is now 47 percent. In both cases, female senior-level marketer representation increased since last year’s study.”
  • “Women comprise the majority of the marketing industry’s workforce — 64 percent according to the ANA board and AIMM member study, and 68 percent in the analysis of ANA overall membership . Both figures are higher than last year.”
  • “All job levels skew female. It should be a concern that entry-level professional and mid-level lower end positions are both almost two-thirds female. It is important to point out that gender “equality” means equal representation between men and women. The industry needs to understand why more young men are not entering (or remaining) in the marketing industry, and respond accordingly.”
  • “Ethnic diversity is poor from the senior level on down, especially for African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino workers.”

The full report is available for no cost and without membership requirements using the following link: https://www.ana.net/diversity

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