By Bistriti Poddar
Over the past decade, the marketing industry has witnessed many women rise up the ladder to become trailblazers and influential thought leaders. Though challenges like the gender pay gap, smaller representation and access to senior roles continue to plague the sector, women have made significant progress and are continuing to push the boundaries.
According to a study, Gender in Marketing, women are much more likely to start a career in marketing: 21 per cent as compared to 16 per cent men. Drawing on their creative and technological strengths, women like Madalyn Skylar, Ann Handley and Ardath Albee were early pioneers in the sector. They have paved the way for other women to make valuable contributions. Unfortunately, there are many companies that still don’t consider gender diversity a priority, simply because they don’t know how it could benefit their bottom line.
Women in marketing making the difference
Female representation in the marketing sector is strong. Apart from holding a majority of marketing jobs, LinkedIn data reveals that the majority of women are leaders too. In North America, women’s representation in marketing roles is 60 per cent compared to 40 per cent among men.
Organisations that are encouraging women to be a part of the marketing sector are reaping the benefits. Women bring with them discipline, help create an inclusive culture and embed the right language. With their natural ability to be empathetic and inherent qualities like collaboration, emotional intelligence and listening skills, women are able to add more value to the marketing sector.
Communication is one of the key factors in any marketing position. Numerous studies indicate that women are much better at verbal communication. This quality makes women an invaluable part of the marketing industry. Adding women to a marketing team further brings holistic and diverse views to the table.
Women succeeding in marketing is not something new. Women have taken the lead in the marketing industry for long, however, gender bias in the sector has led to women’s positions being undervalued by 21 per cent compared to their male peers.
Why women want to be a part of the marketing industry
According to a study by Candidate involving 150 companies, women mostly seek and fulfil the following roles: marketing and social media (27 per cent), public relations and communications (18 per cent), and account management (14 per cent), while technical and analytical roles continue to be primarily held by men. Here are some of the reasons why women want to be a part of the marketing industry:
Creativity is the primary attribute that makes a person stand out in marketing. A study revealed that women have stronger marketing skills as compared to men. Women are now unleashing their potential by setting foot into the marketing industry that demands creativity.
According to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the overall employment of marketing, promotions, and advertising managers is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028. For women, marketing jobs are continually increasing as companies are always looking for ways to grow and establish their offline and online presence. This means that women professionals with a degree in marketing will always be crucial—a benefit that can’t be overstated, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
Women can be better marketers
Gone are the days of zeroing in on targets with a narrow vision to promote or sell products or services. It is time to be enterprising and that’s where women get the edge. With their abiding interest in family affairs, women are more enterprising and reliable than men. Women are also better at understanding the emotions and psyche of people which in turn, creates better brand connections. Women have a wide arc of sight, a listening advantage, and an intuitive mind that makes them excellent marketers.
A woman’s ability to collaborate with people and shape solutions according to customer needs is much more critical for marketing success and that’s what companies are gradually realising. Women in marketing roles are leading from the front and managing business operations with ease and expertise. Though the ratio of women is a bit skewed in the industry, the gender gap is slowly narrowing, and in the future, one can expect to see more women taking charge in not just marketing, but across all fields.
The author is chief communication officer, uKnowva