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Ad and marketing industries hit new diversity highs, but lag behind US population averages


By Kendra Barnett | Senior Reporter

November 7, 2022 | 4 min read

Diversity in the advertising and marketing industries has reached an all-time high, per new data from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

diverse group

Diverse hiring in adland and the marketing world has hit an all-time high, per the ANA

US industry body the ANA, whose members span major brands, ad agencies, adtech companies and trade groups, today published new data that reveals that female and non-white ethnic group representation is rising among members.

However, ethnic diversity in the advertising and marketing industry still trails US averages. Here are the key takeaways from the research:

1. Overall ethnic diversity in the industry is increasing

The study finds that 29.1% of ANA members identify as non-white, up from 27.2% last year and 26% in 2018, when the first study of its kind was published.

Broken down across ethnic groups, 7.2% of the industry identifies as Black or African American, up from 6.6% last year. 10.2% identify as Asian, down slightly from the 2021 rate of 11.7%. Hispanic and Latinx representation has reached 10.9% in the industry, compared to 8.9% last year.

While overall ethnic diversity is growing in marketing and advertising, the sector still lags behind US averages. The country’s latest census data indicates that 42.2% of the US population identifies as ethnically non-white; 12.1% are Black or African American and 18.7% are Hispanic or Latinx. Asians are the only major ethnic group overrepresented among marketing and advertising professionals; while they account for 10.2% of ANA members, they make up just 5.8% of the US population at large.

2. Ethnic diversity in the C-suite is up

A record high 14.6% of ANA member chief marketing officers identify as non-white, compared to 13.7% last year and 13% in 2018.

However, outside of the marketing department, rates fell slightly. 27.4% of senior-level executives are ethnically diverse according to the ANA Diversity Benchmark – down more than 1% from last year’s rate of 28.5%.

3. The advertising and marketing sector skews largely female

In two studies of broader ANA membership makeup, female representation is the highest it’s been in the five-year history of the report: 68.3% of the membership is female, compared to 67.1% last year and 67% in 2018.

Among the upper echelons of management in the industry, women also outnumber men. 55.6% of senior management is female, according to the ANA Diversity Benchmark – a lift from last year’s 54.8% but down slightly from the historic high of 56.2% in 2020. Meanwhile, 57.3% of all ANA member chief marketing officers are female, up from 54.6% last year and representing a major leap from the 2018 rate of 45%.

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