Despite urgent calls for racial justice this year, there’s still an overall lack of ethnic diversity in the marketing industry as black, hispanic or Asian people occupy just 12 percent of chief marketing officer roles—unchanged from the last two years—according to the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) latest diversity report.
The findings, which build off of ANA’s inaugural diversity report in 2018, break down the gender and ethnic representation of the marketing teams at 40 ANA member company participants.
In 2020, white people comprised 88 percent of ANA company CMOs. Blacks comprised three percent; Asians, five percent; and Hispanics/Latinos, four percent.
The industry has made progress with gender diversity, with women representing 52 percent of the top marketer positions today—a seven percent increase since 2018. Among lower-ranking jobs, the gender diversity is even greater, as ANA’s survey of 30,940 marketers indicates that 67 percent are female and 33 percent are male. However, these numbers are unchanged over the past three years.
As for ethnic diversity among lower-ranking marketers, the industry has a great deal of work to do. White people comprise 74 percent, blacks comprise six percent, Asians comprise 10 percent, Hispanics comprise eight percent and “other” comprise two percent.
The ANA board of directors lacks ethnic diversity as well. Among its 43 members, 29 are white, five are Hispanic, five are black and four are Asian—33 percent ethnically diverse compared to 24 percent in 2019. The board includes 23 women and 20 men.
When asked what key actions have helped their company increase diversity within the marketing department, respondents noted the importance of diversity in recruiting, board and senior-level accountability, setting goals and tracking progress, employee referrals, leveraging relationships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and crafting specific internship programs for diverse students.
Other steps marketers have taken to improve diversity include the formation of a diversity action committee, deliberate sponsorship and mentorship of diverse talent, the creation of employee resource groups and the implementation of diversity and inclusion learning in professional development plans for leaders.