Older women in leadership

More Women CMOs, Fewer Women Running Agencies

According to a recent article in AdAge.com, nearly half of all marketing leadership roles were filled with women in Q1 and Q2 2019.

While most of these women were hired into CMO roles in financial services and the natural resources industry, the claim that ‘gender parity’ is almost here seems premature.

Another AdAge.com article states that women in ad, media and tech communities don’t fair as well. Corporate and executive positions held by women slipped one point over 2019 from 30% to 29%.

And while there were some gains by women of color, women and people of color seem to lack the mentorship opportunities to gain exposure to the necessary initiatives and P&L management experience one needs to advance to more senior levels.

If approximately half of all entry level positions in advertising, media and technology are filled by women, then companies are failing to provide equal opportunities for advancement for women.

So achieving gender and diversity parity is still not here, and more needs to be done to grow the number of women CMOs and agency leaders.

Saying that is takes time, or women take themselves out of the job market, is just an excuse for failure to create equal advancement opportunities.

Then there’s the ageism thing – 40 is being treated as the new 70 when really 70 is the new 40.

No wonder more entrepreneurs are women of a certain age.

Bajkowski + Partners LLC is a leading consultancy providing services to marketing and procurement teams in the areas of agency relationship management, agency search, process audits, contract and SOW development and audits, and other marketing operations related areas.

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Is ’40 the new 70′ the Latest Marketing Trend?

If you look at the marketing industry, it seems that way. Welcome to the new ‘grey attrition’

While it’s been a ‘young person’s business’ at ad agencies for a long time, corporate marketing jobs also seem to be ‘out with the old, in with the new’ – unless you’re the CMO. Whether at an ad agency or on the brand side, this is a disturbing marketing trend.

Seems like we receive at least one email a month from a colleague who has a friend / colleague that’s suddenly unemployed and, because they’re over 40, run into a ‘grey wall’ with human resources or job app websites.

One man of a certain age, according to a recent Digiday article, spent the last three years as a permalancer while he looks for a permanent advertising agency gig.

There are likely many factors driving this new ageism in the marketing industry.

One such culprit is certainly marketers driving down agency comp. This eventually forces advertising agencies to find cheaper talent solutions. And eventually marketers complain that the agency team is too junior and, worst yet, fires the agency.

Mergers and acquisitions, consolidations, and reorganizations also contribute to ‘grey attrition’ at both clients and agencies as they unload higher salaried staffs.

Whatever reason you come up with, it is still a human one.

It’s time marketers and agencies rethink scopes, and staffing – on both sides.

Pressures to increase ROI need to factor in the value of experienced human capital.

With that ‘grey attrition’ also goes your knowledge base. Indiana Jones once said, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”

We’d argue that it can be both.

Mileage doesn’t always ensure wisdom. And ‘the years’ doesn’t mean you hit the brakes on learning.

Let’s stop and rethink this marketing trend.

Bajkowski + Partners is a global consultancy with practices in Agency Search and Selection Management, Agency Performance and Relationship Management, Marketing Organization and Optimization, and Brand and Marcomm Management.

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