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It wasn’t long ago that women only made up about one-third (34%) of newly appointed CMOs. But in just four years, that percentage has increased considerably, with new figures from Russell Reynolds Associates revealing that 48% of newly appointed CMOs in H1 2019 were female.

Russell Reynolds Associates’ data is derived from tracking and analyzing 214 publically disclosed marketing leadership moves in H1 2019. The number of marketing leadership changes was 12% higher in the first half of 2019 than in the same period in 2018.

Women accounted for nearly half of these moves, which is an all-time high. The last time the percentage of women moving into leadership positions was close to that level was back in the first half of 2016, when women accounted for 47% of new appointments.

Reaching gender parity has been a struggle, with the percentage of women being appointed to marketing leadership positions in the past 6 years having had its ups and downs. The lowest percentage recorded was 34% in H1 2015.

Analysis from Spencer Stuart earlier this year backs up this shift towards wider gender diversity in the role of CMO, stating that, in 2018, more than one-third of the 100 most advertised consumer brands in the US had female CMOs, with 8 of the 18 new CMO roles in that year going to women.

While many industries are still struggling with eliminating the pay gap between genders, Equilar reported figures in late 2017 that the median pay for women in marketing leadership positions was 36% higher than males. However, it’s important to note that this pay data was from a small sample size.

So, what are some of the qualities that will make these newly hired women (and men) become top-rate CMOs? A recent report from Accenture found that those CMOs that outperformed others possessed certain qualities and mindsets, including being able to adapt to the new role that marketing is playing in businesses and being open to collaboration.

Meanwhile, these new CMOs are also more likely to find themselves on one or more boards in time: a study from Spencer Stuart reported that some 73% of marketing executives surveyed said they expect to see more marketers on boards in the coming years.

Read more, including a full list of the analyzed marketing moves in H1 2019, here.

About the Data: 2019 data is based on analysis of 214 senior marketing job changes during the first half of 2019.

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