Women are in marketing leadership roles but still face barriers: CMA survey

Mar 11, 2021

New research from the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) finds that although it is common to see women in marketing leadership roles, experiences and perspectives on inclusion differ between women and men, and between minority and non-minority groups.  

The CMA Survey on Marketing Talent finds that 90% of marketers see women in leadership roles at their organizations. However, while overall, the vast majority (91 per cent) of marketers feel welcome at work, this is only the case for 80 per cent of women from minority groups.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s encouraging to see that women are well represented in marketing leadership roles and that ultimately, women feel that the marketing industry is safe and welcoming,” says CMA President and CEO, John Wiltshire. “However, we know there is still work to do, particularly when it comes to improving inclusivity for women representing the BIPOC community and other minority groups.”

The research reveals a disconnect between how male and female marketers view inclusion in the workplace. Women in marketing are less likely than their male counterparts (69% vs 82%) to say that their workplace makes employees feel included.

One in six marketers (17%) have noticed women being less engaged due to either institutional, interpersonal, structural or internalized systems of discrimination. When asked about themselves, 45% of women marketers say they are not engaged for these reasons, at least some of the time.

“As an industry that speaks directly to consumers from all walks of life, it’s important that all of us in the marketing profession recognize that our own lived experiences do not necessarily reflect the barriers faced by our peers,” says Wiltshire. “Diversity and inclusion boosts employee morale and loyalty, leads to greater innovation and creativity, and most importantly, it brings business growth opportunities.”

The CMA Survey on Marketing Talent was in field until late January and the findings are still under review. Detailed insights will be released in conjunction with our CMAtalent event taking place on April 14.

About the Canadian Marketing Association

The CMA is the voice of the marketing profession in Canada. We serve more than 400 corporate, not-for-profit, public and post-secondary members, including Canada’s most prestigious brands. Our community also includes creative, media, and PR agencies, research firms, management consulting firms, technology companies and other suppliers to the marketing community. We support activities related to thought-leadership, professional development, consumer protection, and commercial success. We act as the primary advocate for marketing with governments, regulators and other stakeholders. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation ensures that marketing professionals are highly qualified and up to date with best practices. We champion self-regulatory standards, including the mandatory Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards.

For more information:
Shane Madill, Kaiser & Partners Inc., shane.madill@kaiserpartners.com, 647.725.2520 x207




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