WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? 2016 AD WEEK PANEL SHINES A LIGHT ON GENDER DISPARITY IN MARKETING



If 41% of the people entering the marketing industry are women then why are so few of them at the top? And, more importantly, how can we fix that?

The group formerly known as Advertising Women of New York isn't wasting any time responding to this problem. While hosting the panel "Gender Disparity: A Data-Driven Remedy," AWNY unveiled fresh research on women in marketing and media — and a new name: She Runs It.

The rebrand underscores a growing urgency to address gender disparity in the industry. Research from She Runs It shows that while 41% of early stage marketing employees are women, women only fill 25% of executive leadership roles.



At the panel, industry leaders talked about how we can change these inequality trends that hold women back in the workplace. One of the problems is that women tend to focus on their performance. A common mindset is that if someone works hard and performs well, a promotion will follow. But panelists like AOL's Chief Marketing Officer Allie Kline emphasized the importance of developing a personal brand to boost upward momentum.



Of course, it's not just the responsibility of women to create this change. Companies need to put in the work, too.

"Employers have the responsibility to provide career planning to change the trends in women's equality," Kline explained. Others agreed. "It's the right thing to do, and it's very good business," said Rob Master, Vice President of Media, Categories and Partnerships at Unilever.

That said, the importance of relationships remained a key topic throughout the panel. The She Runs It study revealed the gender disparity in leadership isn't just an executive issue: Men make up the majority of advocates for both women and men. The takeaway? Women still need to advocate for other women.



"Women need to balance performance with influence," Kline said. In other words, getting ahead isn't just about hard work. By building strong networks and supporting each other, women can help themselves and each other to the top. Ready to check out the view?