New ANA figures from the US show that chief marketing officers are mostly male and nearly all white

Ad agencies are often pilloried as a “boy’s club” and a mostly white one at that.

The same is broadly true of the upper echelons of the marketing world, according to a new “scorecard” released by the Us Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

According to these findings from the ANA’s 747 client members, 55 per cent of CMOs are male, 45 per cent female with female CMOs particularly thin on the ground in the food and beverage sector at just 25 per cent.

The figures for ethnic diversity are much more damning, with just three per cent of CMOs identified as Black/African American and only five per cent Asian and Hispanic/Latin.

ANA CEO Bob Liodice (left) says: “Industry progress begins with understanding the facts about our marketplace. For too long, we’ve relied on inference and innuendo rather than hard facts and data. We’ve now planted a ‘stake in the ground’ against which we can begin to track our progress annually. But knowing these results is just the first step. We need complete commitment throughout our industry to create lasting change.”

It would be interesting to see what the comparable numbers are in other countries, like the UK. It shouldn’t be difficult for UK advertiser body ISBA to conduct a similar audit.

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