People of color account for only 13 percent of professionals in top marketing roles at major U.S. companies today, according to a new report from marketing trade group the Association of National Advertisers.

The findings come as part of the ANA’s first annual “CMO scorecard,” an exercise that surveyed chief marketing officers (or an equivalent role) at each of the ad group’s member companies in a bid to gauge organizations’ progress in terms of gender and ethnic diversity at the senior marketing level.


The survey’s findings, which examined industries including banking and financial services, food and beverage, technology, sports and entertainment and consumer packaged goods, suggests that while U.S. companies appear to have taken great strides in terms of gender equality in their upper ranks, they have a long way to go in establishing a similar parity when it comes to representing ethnic groups in lead marketing roles.

The report found that 87 percent of the top marketers in the trade group’s client-side member organizations are white. Only five percent of CMOs are Hispanic/Latin and only another five percent are Asian. Only three percent identify as African American or Black.

Some industries scored worse than others. In the banking and financial services sector, for example, 82 out of the 88 CMOs ranked in the report (or about 93 percent) are white. Four are Asian, and only two are African American. None are Hispanic/Latin.

In sports and entertainment, whites totaled 42 out of the 45 CMOs listed (93 percent). Only one Asian CMO was found, as well as one Black/African-American CMO and one Hispanic/Latin CMO.

In the technology world, 88 percent of CMOs are white (or 44 out of the 50 total CMOs counted). Four are Asian and only two are Hispanic/Latin. None identified as Black or African-American.

In the food and beverage world, 65 of the 77 CMOs tallied are white (about 84 percent). Hispanic/Latin CMOs consisted of six members, while Asian and Black or African-American CMOs totaled six (or three each).

On the other hand, nearly half — 45 percent — of the top marketing roles at ANA client-side member organizations are now held by women, while 55 percent are held by men. In some industries, female CMOs actually outnumber males; when it comes to the banking and financial services world, for example, 53 percent of the top marketers in this sector are women and 46 percent are men.

Female CMOs also outnumber males in the sports and entertainment world and are on par with men in the consumer packaged goods industry. Men outnumber women in the technology and food and beverage sectors.

The ANA’s CMO “scorecard” report identified the profile of CMO or CMO-equivalent positions at each of ANA’s 747 client-side marketer company members. ANA’s members represent more than 10,000 brands and collectively spend more than $250 billion annually in marketing communications and advertising. ANA member companies include 3M, Airbnb, Apple, eBay and hundreds more.