Read time 2mInsights

Ethnicity Pay Gap in Marketing

Exclusive data from the 2022 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey has revealed, yet again, that marketers from ethnic minorities are paid significantly less than their white counterparts, at every level of seniority. This survey examined full-time respondents (35+ hours a week) who quoted basic salary, excluding benefits.
An alarming 23.7% pay gap highlights the divide that exists within the world of Marketing but, more importantly, illuminates the lack of representation prevalent in the sector today.

One of the most ethnically diverse cities in Europe, London accommodates around half of the UK marketing profession, with 56.8% of respondents working here and in the South East. Yet 75.3% of survey respondents identified as white. Evidently, pressing need exists for greater representation across the industry, one that remains overwhelmingly white and middle-class.

Companies across the sector were reminded abruptly of this disparity following May 25th, 2020, when the horrifying murder of George Floyd took place in Minneapolis.

Agencies and brands took to social media instantly to share their disdain for the incident, to express their support for marginalised communities and to pledge themselves to embracing an inclusive approach moving forward. Two years later, however, the battle continues.

The recent ‘All In’ report – the first and biggest industry-wide survey in the UK conducted by the Advertising Association – emphasised that non-white marketers experience significantly more discrimination due to their ethnicity than their white counterparts (45% Black, Asian and Mixed vs 1% White). This was matched with 78% of non-white marketers reporting that they were likely to leave the industry due to lack of inclusion and/or discrimination experienced.

Clearly, those who value a diverse workforce must be proactive in hiring talented marketers from the same marginalised communities they claim to support, encouraging a sympathetic environment that tackles discrimination daily and offering a salary that reflects merit and role, not background.

In light of this, initiatives such as Media for All (MEFA) are driving the change needed to increase representation at all levels of seniority. Founded in 2017, the organisation – run voluntarily by media industry professionals – exists to close the representation gap and help ethnic minority talent thrive within the industry.

To conclude, it is the collective responsibility of all decision-makers and thought leaders across the industry to increase ethnic representation at every level of seniority. Not only this, but they must ensure that marketers at all levels are paid for the role they have been hired to fulfil, no matter the colour of their skin.