The marketing industry still has room to progress when it comes to achieving diversity in senior leadership, a study from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the trade body, has indicated.

In measuring leadership representation – including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability – the ANA produced a “diversity scorecard” that covered 17 marketing departments at board member companies, with an employee population of 9,677 marketers.

“The marketing industry is prone to measure just about everything, except whether we have diversity among our ranks,” said Bob Liodice, the ANA’s CEO. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: ANA reveals new data on gender (improving) and ethnicity (poor) representation in marketing workforce.)

“If we’re going to truly challenge ourselves to become increasingly diverse, then we need to face this transparently – with real and public measurements.”

One of the ANA’s core findings was that the leadership mix typically fell short of the national population averages in terms of ethnic background.

Seventy-two percent of marketing leadership positions were held by non-Hispanic whites – a group that represented 69% of the total employee mix, the industry body reported.

African-Americans occupied only 4% of the top-level management posts and 7% of the entire marketing universe, versus 12.3% of the US population.

In confirmation of this trend, Hispanic/Latino staff represented only 9% of senior-level marketers in the study, measured against 17.4% of the US population.

Asian-Americans, by contrast, had a stronger presence, comprising 9% of the senior-level positions and 11% of the full group of marketers, versus 5.4% of the US population.

Turning to gender representation, the ANA found that “the identity for the marketing departments of participating ANA board member companies skews highly female: 63% female and 37% male”.

In fact, those numbers nearly match the findings of an earlier ANA overall-membership analysis that checked in with a 67% female/33% male split.

At the senior level, however, outmoded tradition seems to sneak back into the gender balance, with men holding a 54% majority of positions.

Sourced from WARC