Revealed: Marketing’s diversity problem

Overwhelmingly white, middle class and male – the latest results from the 2020 Career and Salary Survey expose the stark reality of marketing’s diversity crisis



The stark lack of diversity within marketing is a ticking timebomb with the potential to undermine the future creativity and relevance of the industry for years to come.

The 2020 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey reveals that a staggering 88% of the 3,883 respondents identify as white, with just 4% identifying as mixed race, 5% as Asian and 2% as black.

The gender bias is clear given that 60.9% of all the survey respondents are female, yet their presence considerably lessens the more senior roles become. The Career and Salary Survey research reveals that of the 39.9% of respondents whose company has a marketer on the board, 51.8% of the people in this role are male, versus 48.2% female.

Furthermore, despite just 10% of respondents defining themselves as coming from an upper middle class background, these marketers make up 52.6% of those in senior positions, while 82% of all marketers define themselves as coming from either an upper middle, middle or lower middle class background.

When it comes to influencing change in their organisation, 65.9% of upper middle class marketers feel confident they can affect change, versus 58.2% of marketers from a working class background. Two-thirds (67%) of male marketers feel they can lead change, compared to 53% of female marketers.

The sense of imbalance within the industry stretches to the routes people are taking into marketing careers and even the geographical split of roles, exposing a deeply entrenched London bias.

To get a better sense of how this lack of ethnic, socio-economic and gender diversity is affecting the industry, Marketing Week spoke to a variety of marketers across different levels of seniority to get their take on what needs to change.

Click here to read our full analysis of marketing’s diversity issue.


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