Female marketers less likely to reach top positions than their male counterparts

Male marketers are reaching higher levels in the profession than their female counterparts and are more likely to receive bonuses, according to new research.

Gender equality: marketing profession is lagging
Gender equality: marketing profession is lagging

The survey of 1,330 marketing professionals, by specialist marketer recruiter EMR, found that while 18% of men reach director level, the equivalent figure for women is just 7%. Similarly, head of marketing roles are attained by 22% of men but just 12% of women. This is despite the fact that 75% of marketers are women.

The gap between men and women in senior marketing positions is most marked between the ages of 30 and 49. The figures show that 17% more men than women reach director and head of marketing positions in their thirties and 16% more in their forties. The gap narrows again after the age of 50 with just 2% more men in these senior positions than women (70% and 68% respectively).

Additionally, a larger proportion of male marketers received a bonus this year – 61% of men compared with 53% of women. More men than women also saw an increase in their bonus compared with the previous year (35% compared with 33%.)

However, a greater proportion of female marketers are satisfied with their job (54% of women compared with 51% of men).

Simon Bassett, EMR managing director, said the findings "sends out a poor message about equality within the industry".

"For an industry with such a high proportion of women, the gender imbalance in marketing seems even greater at the top of the tree.

"At the start and end of their careers, women are relatively level with their male counterparts but their career progression is slowing down in the middle – most likely because of having children and the responsibilities of childcare.

"The report also found women are more receptive to the idea of flexible working which may be one route to equality, allowing women to juggle their career and family."

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