Modest Uptick in Industry Diversity, per ANA Report

December 8, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Asian-American | Business of Marketing | Demographics & Audiences | Hispanic | Men | Staffing | Women

ANA Lack of Diversity Among CMOs Dec2021

Although there seems to be some progress when it comes to ethnic and racial diversity in the role of CMO or its equivalent, it’s very slow in coming. A survey of members of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) indicates that while women continue to make strides in the role of CMO, it is difficult to say the same for racial or ethnic groups.

Of the 873 ANA’s client-side members identified as CMO or CMO-equivalent, 86.3% were White, while only 5.5% were Asian, 4.6% African American/Black and 3.6% Hispanic/Latino. And, while there has been a slight lift in the share of CMOs identifying as Asian and African American over the past year, it still falls well short of the role being accurately described as diverse, especially since the share of Hispanic/Latino ANA members in the role of CMO or its equivalent has actually decreased since 2018.

When looking at gender, the news is much better. Some 54.6% of members in the role of CMO are now female. This is up from 52% in 2020. Similar growth for women in the role of CMO is also reflected in earlier research from Spencer Stuart. 

Diversity in Overall Membership Still Lagging

While there is less of a gap in the representation of race and ethnicity in ANA membership as a whole, diversity remains low. Among the more than 28,800 members who responded to the questions about ethnicity, more than 7 in 10 (72.8%) identified as White. Representing 11% of overall membership, the next-largest ethnic group was Asian, followed by Hispanics (8.5%), African Americans (5.9%), those that identify as Other (1.5%), American Indian/Alaskan Native (0.2%) and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.1%) — the last two options being offered for the first time this year.

And, while there was not a noticeable change in this distribution, it is worth noting that the representation of those who identified as White has decreased from 74% last year.

There has also been no change in the representation of women in the fields of marketing and advertising. The scales still fall very much in favor of women in this case, with the ANA having about twice as many female members (67%) than male members (33%). 

Diversity Among Board and Select Member Companies Lower than US Population

A look at 20 ANA board member companies and 41 selected ANA member companies — representing more than 16,500 marketers — shows that total diversity (members representing a racial or ethnic group other than White) this year (30.8%) saw a slight lift over last year (28.5%). However, compared to 2018 (29.4%), there has been very little change in diversity.

This is even more apparent when looking at the ethnic makeup of ANA board members and the select member companies versus the US population. Per the 2020 US Census, 57.8% of the total population is White, yet, they account for 69.2% of the ANA board and select member companies. On the other hand, Hispanics and African Americans, who account for 18.7% and 12.1% of the US population, respectively, are vastly under-represented among the ANA board and selective member companies (8.9% and 6.6%, respectively).

On the positive side, Asians are the only group with a higher representation among the ANA board and select member companies (11.7%) than in the US population (5.9%).

To read more, the full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on 31,790 of ANA overall members who provided diversity information. Data on ANA member CMOs is an analysis of the 873 CMO or CMO-equivalent client-side marketer company members.


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