Gender and ethnic diversity may be lacking at the top levels of the marketing business, but it is a far greater presence at the rank-and-file level of the industry, according to a survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers.
The survey asked 23,000 people in the rank-and-file marketing workforce to anonymously answer questions related to four characteristics: gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability. It follows a survey done earlier this year, in which CMOs answered similar questions.
At the rank-and-file level, women constitute a sizeable majority (67 percent) of marketers—a bump up from the 45 percent number recorded for CMOs in the earlier survey. “The data we collected shows that while women overwhelmingly comprise the bulk of the marketing industry’s workforce, they still lag behind in leadership roles,” said ANA President Christine Manna, who oversaw the report. “That’s an area we plan to focus on as we increase our efforts to bring more diversity to the overall workforce and to the senior ranks of top marketers.”
While the new survey showed that 74 percent of rank-and-file marketers are white, that shows a level of diversity greater than the 87 percent of CMOs that listed themselves as white in the earlier study. Asians accounted for 10 percent of the rank-and-file marketing workforce, with Hispanics coming in at eight percent and African-Americans at six percent. Those numbers are considerably higher than those recorded for CMOs.
Last year, the ANA launched the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing. One of the goals of the initiative is to address the lack of ethnic diversity in the marketing industry. To bring greater understanding to the total marketplace, the ANA is piloting a “diversity scorecard” project with its Board of Directors. Depending on the success of the pilot, the ANA hopes to create a long-term annual “diversity scorecard” for the entire marketing community, including agencies and media.