Marketing to Women: Growth of Women in Marketing

February 17, 2013 § 6 Comments

12249556680-resize-380x300Almost a third of all Americans are employed in marketing-related positions.  That’s a staggering number if you think about it.  And it is a path for women to grow up the corporate ladder.   A recent study by a recruiting firm found that more top executives have come out of marketing than of any other area.

Women have historically been employed in the retailing and advertising areas of marketing. But we now have moved into all types of sales and marketing positions.  Advertising has always been a home for women but men still dominate with 51.3% of the advertising workforce composed of men.  Of course, women only compose 3% of the creative directors of agencies, and that’s a complete travesty of consumer marketing.   Some 13.5% of all advertising persons are women who hold an high level role such as chair, CEO or managing director.  Women also held just 27.3% of other executive management positions, an increase of 1.8% on 2010.  Women’s earnings represent this inequity in position;  women’s earnings in marketing and sales were 67.7% of men’s earnings.

The Female Factor.

A 2009 study of women in marketing by Brandweek found strong agreement among marketers—of both genders—that women are experiencing success in marketing.  Eighty percent believe women are experiencing a greater degree of success in marketing departments than in the past and 66 per cent say their success in marketing is greater than in other departments.   Fully 81 per cent of women in marketing want to be “CMO” someday compared to 68 per cent of male marketers.

Women marketers approach marketing differently. Men tend to think in linear, hierarchical terms. They want the facts, the numbers and the statistics. And the same goes for male marketers. Women (and women marketers), on the other hand, tend to approach topics more contextually, interconnecting knowledge, experiences, facts, opinions, relationships, goals and dreams in a non-linear, web-like manner.

Women and Job Growth

Women are beginning to see traction in job advancement.  Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the US, primarily women occupy all but two.  Now, about 40% of working wives make more money than their husbands.

But there is a lot of room for more growth.  Women currently account for roughly 53 percent of entry-level professional employees in the largest US industrial corporations.  According to Catalyst, a leading advocacy group for women, we hold only 37 percent of middle-management positions, 28 percent of vice-president and senior-managerial roles, and 14 percent of seats on executive committees.

How women contribute to the economy

Between 1970 and 2009, women went from holding 37% of all jobs to nearly 48%. That’s almost 38 million more women. Without them, our economy would be 25% smaller today—an amount equal to the combined GDP of Illinois, California and New York.

GDP growth is driven by two factors—an expanding workforce and rising productivity. Back in the 1970s when women and a huge cohort of baby boomer men were entering the workforce, 65% of GDP growth arose from workforce expansion. Today, nearly 80% of growth is related to productivity increases, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

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§ 6 Responses to Marketing to Women: Growth of Women in Marketing

  • Mindy Leigh says:

    Reblogged this on Mindy Explains It All and commented:
    In my office and even in my Mass Communications education courses, it was evident that if Advertising/PR were not already female dominated, they would be in a few years. Women are buyers and thinkers and more often than not, the larger target audience. So why would they not be controlling marketing and advertising?
    Thank you for sharing Lipstick Economy!

    • I’m sorry, but that is such stereotypical thinking. There are men who also are consumers of products and think creatively. The field should not be gender-dominated to the point males will have a hard time entering the field.

  • Kathryn says:

    Only 3% of creative directors are female? No wonder everything I see being marketed to woman from cleaning supplies to clothes is about how using this product can “make you sexier” and “pleases your man.” I am all for being sexy and pleasing my man but I don’t want to do it with a mop. These male creative directors need to be more creative. When there are more women in advertising and marketing, maybe then we will not be treated as “objects” used to sell cars, beer, deodorant.

    • Derek says:

      In my experience within the Consumer Packaged Goods sector, most Marketing Directors, Marketing Managers and Marketing Coordinators are female. It is the Directors and Managers that “OK” any creative produced by an agency. Though I do agree that it is appalling that women only account for 3% of Creative Director roles, we cannot make the assumption that men lead the charge when it comes to objectifying women in the media.
      The female CMO that I worked with in the beer business had the final say when it came to all of the national commercials that objectified women. My assumption is that it was because her facts showed her that it helped to sell beer. I think that it is horrible to objectify women in the media but let’s not jump to conclusion about where and why those ads were being produced…

      • Jamie Dunham says:

        Hi Derek – Thanks for the comment. I too have worked with women who have not necessarily improved the image of women in advertising. There are many women in advertising but few trailblazers. Understanding the target audience and then speaking in their language is the real objective, whether there are male or female creatives included.

  • […] dominate the US labor force, holding more than 51% of all professional occupations and filling roughly 49% of marketing-related occupations. In the affiliate marketing realm, they hold over a third of the […]

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