May 10, 2018

ANA client-side membership is overwhelmingly female, white, and heterosexual — but nonetheless is more gender and ethnically diverse than CMOs at ANA member companies.

Those are the findings after comparing two ANA (Association of National Advertiser) studies. The first was released last month and identified gender equality and ethnic diversity among CMOs at ANA member companies; the second is being released today and breaks new ground, as it represents the findings of a seven-year internal examination of gender equality and ethnic diversity among more than 23,000 self-identified individuals at ANA member companies.

From 2011 through February 2018, the ANA asked member-company marketers who created ANA accounts to activate their membership to voluntarily and anonymously answer questions related to four characteristics: gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability. The table below reveals the findings and compares them to the ANA’s recent CMO diversity analysis. The findings validate long-standing intuitive beliefs:

  •     Member marketers are heavily female, but fewer women than men are considered for CMO/CMO equivalent positions.
  •     Member marketers are “reasonably diverse” at the rank and file level, but this drops precipitously when considered for CMO/CMO equivalent positions.

Additionally, the study findings indicate that 96 percent of overall ANA membership is heterosexual and less than 1 percent are disabled.

“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.”

Last year, the ANA launched the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), an initiative that, among a portfolio of priorities, seeks to address the lack of ethnic diversity in the marketing industry. AIMM is working to unite the industry to elevate diversity and increase multicultural marketing as strategic imperatives.

This effort parallels the work of the ANA’s Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE), which oversees the #SeeHer movement. That initiative includes a focus on gender equality.

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


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