How well is the marketing sector turning its good intentions about heightened diversity into meaningful action?

That was a question the ANA Educational Foundation (AEF) – a unit of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) – set out to answer in a new study. And, on the one hand, it had good news: “Industry and academia universally agree on the importance of diversity and inclusion,” the reported asserted.

“In fact,” the 65-page analysis – entitled “The Diversity Disconnect: Charting More Inclusive Pathways to of Growth”, and produced in partnership with research firm Egg Strategy – revealed, “there have been significant resources poured into the recruitment and retention of diverse talent.”

But the hard truth is that such progress is only a modest step in the right direction. As a quantitative indicator of the existing gaps, the ANA assessed its current member companies, and found:

  • 87% of CMOs, and 74% of the ANA’s overall membership, are white, versus 76.6% of the US populace who place themselves in this demographic (falling to 60.7% for people who report they are white but not Hispanic or Latino);
  • 5% of marketing leaders, and 10% of the broader workforce, are Asian, measured against 5.8% of the US population;
  • 5% of CMOs, and 8% of the total employee base, are Hispanic or Latino, trailing the 18.1% of the populace;
  • 3% of the most senior marketers, and 6% of people occupying other marketing positions, are black, compared with 13.4% of all Americans.