Dive Insight:

The ANA’s most recent study of gender and ethnic diversity indicates that advertisers have made improvements in advancing women to CMO and senior-level jobs, but ethnic diversity hasn’t changed much in the past few years, even as calls for inclusion have climbed in 2020. By raising awareness of the issue, especially amid this year’s protests against racism and inequality, the ANA’s report may inspire more companies to evaluate ways they can promote diversity among senior-level employees in their sales and marketing departments.

To promote diversity, the ANA’s report offers advice on dozens of key action steps for talent recruitment, employee retention and external outreach. For example, the ANA recommends that companies ensure they have a diverse candidate pool for every role they seek to fill, and interview at least one diverse candidate for those jobs. Setting goals and tracking progress to reach a goal of 40% multicultural representation among all management levels is also important to advance inclusion, according to the report.

Some ANA members could serve as models for other marketers to look to in their pushes to improve D&I. Procter & Gamble, for instance, has made headway in hiring more female marketers, but is also looking to pick up the pace on better ethnic inclusion.

“At P&G, we have nearly achieved our aspiration of gender equality in the management ranks,” Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble who is chairman of ANA’s board of directors, said in the report’s opening letter. “We’re making strong progress, but still have more work to do to achieve our aspiration of racial and ethnic representation equal to the U.S. population.”

P&G’s goal extends outside the company to all the agencies, production crews and media providers with which it works, though Pritchard acknowledges the company can’t dictate external partners’ hiring practices. Achieving better balance at all levels of management means having gender representation that’s 50% women and 50% men, and racial and ethnic representation that’s 13% Black, 18% Hispanic, 6% Asian Pacific and 2% Native American for a combined 40% multicultural mix, the brand chief said.

The ANA’s trend data reveals that ethnic diversity in the ad industry hasn’t changed much in the past few years. The percentage of CMOs who are Caucasian has held steady at 88% this year, compared with 88% in 2019 and 87% in 2018. Only 3% of CMOs are African American and 5% are Asian, unchanged in the past few years. The percentage of Hispanic and Latino CMOs slipped from 5% in 2018 to 4% last year and 4% this year, according to the report.