Revealed: Marketing’s 24% ethnicity pay gap

Marketing Week’s exclusive analysis reveals a stark ethnicity pay gap that could be holding back the earning potential of ethnically diverse marketers at all levels of seniority.

Career & Salary Survey 2022Marketers from ethnically diverse backgrounds earn less than their white peers at every level of seniority, according to exclusive data from the 2022 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey.

Our analysis finds marketers from ethnic minorities working on a full-time basis are paid, on average, 23.7% less than their white counterparts.

The responses of 4,463 marketers reveal the mean salary for a white marketer is £56,600. Some 75.3% of the Career and Salary Survey respondents identify as white, representing most respondents. By comparison, 12.2% of respondents identify as Asian, 5.1% as mixed race and 2.7% as black.

While acknowledging the smaller sample sizes involved, our analysis finds marketers from mixed race/multiple ethnic groups earn £44,900 on average, followed by black marketers at £44,600. Marketers in the ‘other ethnicity’ group earn a mean wage of £43,800, while Asian/Asian British marketers earn a mean salary of £39,900.

Our analysis of pay by seniority finds ‘non-white’ marketers earn less than their white peers at every career stage studied. In this case, pay by seniority data is calculated from full-time (35+ hours a week) respondents providing their basic annual salary, excluding any additional benefits.

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The reporting uses ‘non-white’ as a term for all marketers who identify as not being white, grouped together in order to achieve a sample size of significance for each level of seniority.

The statistics show at marketing executive level white marketers earn on average £33,500, compared to their ‘non-white’ peers at £18,900, an ethnicity pay gap of 43.6%.

The pay gap for senior executives is 35%, with white marketers earning on average £35,400, compared to their ‘non-white’ peers at £23,000. White junior managers have an average salary of £38,900, versus their ‘non-white’ counterparts at £31,800. In this case the ethnicity pay gap is 18.3%.

Career & Salary Survey 2022When it comes to senior managers/department managers, white marketers earn an average £63,800 compared to ‘non-white’ marketers on £54,500, an ethnicity pay gap of 14.6%.

The smallest ethnicity pay gap is at the highest level of seniority analysed. White marketing directors/vice-presidents earn £95,700 on average, while their ‘non-white’ counterparts on £93,000. This equates to a pay gap of 2.8%.

The numbers are stark and suggest a bias in compensation in favour of white marketers across each level of seniority.

The pressing need to make marketing more diverse is reflected by the wider demographic analysis of the sample. As discussed, 75.3% of the 4,463 respondents identify as white, with over half of marketers (56.8%) working in London and the South East.

This bias towards most marketing roles being in the capital and South East area is significant. While the 2021 Census is yet to report, the 2011 Census revealed 44.9% of people in London identified as white British and 14.9% as ‘other white’.

Office of National Statistics data from 2019, found London was the most ethnically and religiously diverse region in England and Wales, with 43.4% of people in the capital identifying as white British, 14.6% ‘other white’ and 7.9% as black African.

The fact marketing is overwhelmingly white emerges as even more of an issue given the wider demographics of the geographical locations where most marketers are based.

However, with the Career and Salary Survey statistics revealing a mean ethnicity pay gap of 23.7% for full-time workers, it is clear far more needs to be done to make the marketing industry attractive to ethnically diverse talent.