Salary Survey 2019: Small businesses are more inclusive and diverse

Respondents to the annual Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey suggest small businesses are outclassing their larger rivals when it comes to diversity and inclusion.


Organisations with diversity embedded deep in their workplace culture are not only proving to be the most attractive to potential new talent, they are reaping the financial benefits of inclusivity as well.

However, the annual Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey reveals there are some industries and sizes of business where diverse groups of people are being under-represented in the opinion of marketers.

The survey data collated from 4,415 marketers shows that religious groups, for example, are most likely to be under-represented in businesses of 50-249 people (20.8%), followed by 250-plus person organisations (19.8%), companies of 10 to 49 people (16.6%) and lastly one- to nine-person businesses (11.5%).


The research shows that beauty is the industry where religious groups are most likely to be under-represented (22.4%) according to marketers working in the sector, followed closely by the charity sector (22.3%) and travel and transportation (22.1%).

Close to half of marketers working in the gaming and gambling sector say they feel ethnic minorities are under-represented (45.5%), followed by marketers working at a media owner (42.5%) and in the public sector (42.5%).

READ MORE: Salary Survey 2019 – The best (and worst) paid sectors for marketers


The survey shows ethnic minorities are most likely to be under-represented in businesses of 50 to 249 people (38.3%), with organisations of one to nine people (14.9%) performing best.

LGBT employees are most likely to be under-represented within the charity sector (19.8%), according to marketers, followed by travel and leisure (18.7%) and the beauty industry (17.5%).

Companies of 50 to 249 people are the types of organisations, according to the research, where LGBT employees are most likely to be under-represented (18.9%), followed by 10- to 49-person businesses (15.9%), 250-plus people (14.1%) and lastly small businesses of one to nine people (7.5%).


Looking at the data by size of company, people with either physical or mental disabilities are under-represented within organisations of more than 250 people, according to 40.7% of marketers, a big difference compared to businesses of one to nine people at 13.8%.

Disabled people are most likely to be under-represented within media owners (45.7%), closely followed by the entertainment industry (44.1%) and utilities (40.2%).

READ MORE: Big versus small – which is better for career development?


The beauty industry is also the sector where older people are most likely to be under-represented according to 33.7% of marketers, followed by technology and software (32.3%) and entertainment (31.7%).

Furthermore, the data reveals older people are under-represented in 25.2% of businesses with more than 250 people, compared to 11.5% of businesses with one to nine employees.


According to marketers, single parents are least well represented in the public sector (23.6%), followed by the charity sector (20.5%) and FMCG (19.1%). Single parents are also least likely to be present in the workforce of businesses with 50 to 249 people (17.7%) and best represented in businesses of one to nine people (8%).


The statistics clearly show that small companies are delivering best on every measure of diversity from representation of single parents and older people to inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. By contrast larger businesses, according to the opinions of the more than 4,000 marketers surveyed, are less likely to deliver the kind of inclusivity expected in 2018.

READ MORE: How marketing salaries stack up in 2019

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