ANA Membership Study Indicates Marketing Workforces Are Predominantly Female, With Near Parity at Leadership Levels

Ethnic Diversity in Marketing Leadership Is Woeful, 
With Better Total Workforce Performance

NEW YORK (Nov. 5, 2018) — Women significantly comprise the bulk of the marketing industry’s workforce with near parity in leadership roles according to a new study by the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM).

However, the report also revealed that ethnic diversity in the marketing workforce is poor, particularly in leadership positions.

The study was the third such initiative by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) this year to examine gender equality and ethnic diversity among specific segments of the marketing industry. The first was released in March and related to CMOs at ANA member companies; the second was reported in May and covered more than 23,000 self-identified individuals at all ANA member companies.

The report being released today examines gender and ethnic diversity among the U.S.-based marketing departments of ANA board member companies. Seventeen ANA board members participated, representing 9,677 individuals in marketing departments (see chart).


“The marketing industry is prone to measure just about everything, except whether we have diversity among our ranks,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “If we’re going to truly challenge ourselves to become increasingly diverse then we need to face this transparently — with real and public measurements. That’s what this trio of reports is trying to accomplish.”

Gender Identity

The report showed that gender identity for the marketing departments of participating ANA board member companies skew highly female (63 percent) compared to 37 percent male. That finding was consistent with the results in the ANA Overall Membership report (67 percent female and 33 percent male).

At the senior level, the gender balance is fairly even: 46 percent female and 54 percent male. That is consistent with profile of ANA member CMOs (45 percent female and 55 percent male).

All other levels skew female — mid-level upper end, mid-level lower end, entry-level professional, and admin/clerical/support.

Ethnic Diversity

The study showed that ethnicity in the marketing departments of participating ANA board member companies overall is 69 percent white (Non-Hispanic), 11 percent Asian, 7 percent African-American/Black, 7 percent Hispanic/Latino, 2 percent Multiracial, and 4 percent Other/Not Listed.

Senior-level employees at participating board member companies are only slightly less diverse than other levels, the study showed, and the ethnic composition for the marketing departments of participating ANA board member companies was consistent with that of the ANA Overall Membership report.

Liodice said the ANA is committed to publicly measure gender equality and ethnic diversity in the marketing industry and plans to repeat all three studies next year. He added that the ANA will call on companies from other related industries to participate.

“We need to publicly track ourselves with real data from client-side marketers, agencies, publishers, media companies, researchers, suppliers, and vendors,” he said. “The ANA will make this call to the industry in the first quarter of 2019.”

AIMM was founded by the ANA in 2016 to create a powerful voice that elevates multicultural and inclusive marketing to promote business growth. The trade group has two other current initiatives focusing on gender and ethnicity diversity:

  • The ANA launched the #SeeHer initiative in June 2016. #SeeHer’s mission is to increase the accurate portrayals of women and girls in media 20 percent by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the U.S. The group developed the Gender Equality Measure (GEM) to track progress and the marketing effect of removing unconscious bias from ads and programming.
  • The ANA Talent Forward Alliance is a cross-industry initiative with the mission of creating a unified movement committed to inspiring and accelerating the development of exceptional talent — including diverse talent — to fuel marketing industry growth. It was designed to elevate marketing and advertising as a career profession on university campuses, and to engage senior marketing industry executives to develop talent for advertisers and advertising agencies.



The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.


The ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) has the mission to create a powerful voice that elevates multicultural and inclusive marketing to promote business growth in an increasingly diverse marketplace. AIMM’s focus includes an emphasis on talent to create a system that helps elevate the level of multicultural knowledge in corporations and agencies while increasing the diversity of the pool of candidates and executives to better target and reflect the communities served. With business and brand growth lacking, aligning ethnic-focused marketing with the demography of the U.S. is critical to fundamental growth objectives.


John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663