Slow Crawl Towards CMO Leadership Diversity Continues

December 2, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

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

Progress continues in the ethnic and racial make-up of senior marketers, but it is still slow-going. A survey [download page] of members of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) reveals that women are consolidating leadership positions, but it’s a different story for racial or ethnic groups.

Among the 931 ANA client-side marketer members identified as CMO or CMO-equivalent, 85.4% were White (down from 86.3% last year), while 5.8% were Asian (up slightly from 5.5%), 5.0% African American/Black (from 4.6%) and 3.8% Hispanic/Latino (from 3.6%). In sum, only 14.6% of CMOs and equivalents are diverse, though that is a modest improvement from last year’s 13.7%, and the highest share in the survey’s 5-year history.

The most under-represented group is Hispanic/Latinos, whose 3.8% share of CMOs and equivalents compares with their 18.7% share of the population. Asians have more parity in representation (5.8% of CMOs; 5.9% of the population), while African Americans/Blacks are also under-represented (5% of CMOs; 12.1% of the population).

When looking at gender, the news is different. Some 57.3% of members in the role of CMO are now female. This is up from 54.6% last year and 52% in 2020. Both the lack of representation of racial/ethnic groups and the majority representation of women in leadership positions echo findings released earlier this year by Spencer Stuart.

Even though women are better represented at the top now, they still trail their share of ANA membership. Their 57.3% share of CMO and equivalent roles compares to their 68.3% share of ANA overall membership (up from 67.1% last year). It’s also true that the more senior the level, the less likely women are to have a position. While women constitute 84.5% share of admin/clerical/support positions at ANA board of directors and select member companies, that share falls to about two-thirds among entry-level professionals and mid-level/lower end professionals, before dropping again to 62.4% of mid-level/upper end roles and 55.6% of senior level positions.

The same dynamic is true of racial and ethnic groups. This year they make up about one-third (32.3%) of the 19,966 marketers covered in the study across 19 ANA board members and 62 other members. This is the highest level of representation in the survey’s 5-year history, topping last year’s mark of 30.8%.

However, diversity is greater in lower-level roles than higher-level ones. Some 41.3% of admin/clerical/support roles are occupied by members of a racial/ethnic group, falling to 34.2% of entry-level professionals, 31.8% of of mid-level/lower end positions, 29.4% of mid-level/upper end employees, and 27.4% of senior-level marketers.

The ANA attributes this in part to the fact that “the younger U.S. population skews more multicultural than the older U.S. population and also because corporate America’s efforts to diversity the talent pipeline have shown progress.”

For more, download the study here.


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