New Study Shows Ethnic Diversity Still Sorely Lacking In Marketing Industry

But Gender Equality Among CMOs Rising As Workforce Remains Predominantly Female

NEW YORK (Nov. 6, 2019) — ANA client-side marketers continue to make significant progress in achieving gender equality among CMOs, but in stark contrast, there has been little headway made in improving ethnic diversity.

Those are the key findings in a new report from the ANA and the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing that combines the outcomes of three recent surveys of ANA and AIMM members.

“A Diversity Report for the Advertising/Marketing Industry” covered:

  1. ANA Member CMOs: Gender and ethnic diversity of the CMO/CMO-equivalent at 820 ANA member client-side marketer company members.
  2. ANA Overall Membership: Gender and ethnic diversity of the overall ANA membership, representing 15,306 individuals who provided gender identity and 13,781 who provided ethnic diversity information.
  3. ANA Board of Directors and AIMM Member Companies: Gender and ethnic diversity among the U.S.-based marketing departments of 26 ANA board and AIMM member companies. Nineteen ANA board members and seven AIMM members participated, representing 13,078 marketers in total.

ANA Member CMOs
The report revealed that at ANA member companies, 47 percent of the top marketer positions are female, up from 45 percent in a similar survey conducted last year. Meanwhile, 53 percent are male, down from 55 percent (see following table).

However, ethnically diverse executives fill only 12 percent of CMOs and equivalent positions, down from 13 percent last year.

  • African-Americans/Blacks comprise 3 percent of ANA member company CMOs, but are approximately 14 percent of the total population.
  • Asians comprise 5 percent of ANA member company CMOs, and 6 percent of the total population.
  • Hispanics/Latinos comprise 4 percent of ANA member company CMOs, but represent 18 percent of the total population.

ANA Overall Membership
ANA client-side membership is significantly female and white. The report showed that 68 percent are female (up from 67 percent in the 2018 study), 32 percent are male (down from 33 percent), and 75 percent are white (up from 74 percent).

Meanwhile, 9 percent are Asian (versus 10 percent in 2018), 8 percent are Hispanic/ Latino, 6 percent are African-American/Black, and 2 percent identify as “other.” Those latter three categories are unchanged from the previous survey.

ANA Board of Directors and AIMM Member Companies
The gender identity for the marketing departments of participating ANA board and AIMM member companies skews strongly female: 64 percent female and 36 percent male. The number of females increased by one percentage point while the number of males decreased by one percentage point versus the 2018 report.

At the senior level, the gender balance of participating ANA board and AIMM member companies now skews more female: 52 percent female and 48 percent male (versus 46/54 female/male in the 2018 report).

The ethnicity in the marketing departments of participating ANA board and AIMM member companies overall is 70 percent White (Non-Hispanic), versus 69 percent in the 2018 study. Broken down by segment, marketing departments overall are 10 percent Asian, 8 percent Hispanic/Latino, 7 percent African-American/Black, 2 percent multiracial, and 4 percent Other/Not Listed.

The report also includes the following observations, conclusions, and recommendations:

  • At the senior leadership level, female representation is now likely at an all-time high. In fact, according to one of the study’s data points based on ANA board and AIMM member companies, 52 percent of senior-level marketers are female. And in the analysis of the CMO/CMO equivalent at ANA marketer company members, female representation is now 47 percent. In both cases, female senior-level marketer representation increased since last year’s study.
  • Women comprise the majority of the marketing industry’s workforce — 64 percent according to the ANA board and AIMM member study, and 68 percent in the analysis of ANA overall membership . Both figures are higher than last year.
  • All job levels skew female. It should be a concern that entry-level professional and mid-level lower end positions are both almost two-thirds female. It is important to point out that gender “equality” means equal representation between men and women. The industry needs to understand why more young men are not entering (or remaining) in the marketing industry, and respond accordingly.
  • Ethnic diversity is poor from the senior level on down, especially for African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino workers.

The report also includes a number of key action steps to improve diversity within the marketing departments, focused on areas including recruiting and retention.

The full report can be accessed via this link:


The ANA’s mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, for brands and businesses, and for the industry. Growth is foundational for all participants in the ecosystem. The ANA seeks to align those interests by leveraging the 12-point ANA Masters Circle agenda, which has been endorsed and embraced by the ANA Board of Directors and the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of more than 1,600 domestic and international companies, including over 1,000 client-side marketers and nonprofit fundraisers and 600 marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). Collectively, ANA member companies represent 20,000 brands, engage 50,000 industry professionals, and 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