Salary Survey 2014: The gender gap in marketing salaries

The pay difference between men and women is getting wider. Male marketers are now on an average salary of £54,936 compared to women with £39,675.

Vital statistics

  • There is a £15,000 pay gap between the average salaries of male and female marketers.
  • The average salary for men is £54,937, while for women it is £39,675.
  • Men earn more than women for 20 of the job titles surveyed; women earn more than men for 8 job titles.
  • Male marketing managers earn an average of £40,856 and women £37,267, a difference of nearly 10 per cent.

In 2013, men earned on average £49,338 and women £38,329, so men have had an average 11.3 per cent salary increase on last year versus women with 3.5 per cent.

This is despite 65 per cent of survey respondents being female.

The pay divide gets larger the higher someone climbs within a company. While female graduate trainees, marketing assistants and CRM executives are paid more than men, women communications directors, marketing directors and heads of research lose out.

There is a more than £17,000 difference in the average salaries of male and female marketing directors, with men earning £94,016 and women £76,906.

“It’s shocking in this day and age,” says Brian Walmsley, chief marketing officer at parenting club Bounty. “We have to do better as an industry in terms of changing that.

“If we don’t represent society, we are failing society and the onus is on all of us to rebalance the situation. For me, it’s not about quotas; it’s about having active policies in recruitment and flexibility of working practices.”

“It’s very difficult for a commercial business to support senior level positions on a flexible working basis”

Louise Pilkington, former LVMH marketing director

Part-time working

One reason for the disparity may be that women may want to work part-time if they have children, but find they are not supported to do so once they reach the top of their game.

Pilkington, who now runs her own consultancy, says: “It’s very difficult for a commercial business to support senior level positions on a flexible working basis. I think that explains the pay differential rather than any sexism in the business.

“And it’s unrealistic for women to expect that. You’re being a bit hard on the business you’re working for. These days businesses are ‘always on’.”

At L’Oreal, 80 per cent of marketing directors are women. “We appreciate that it can be a struggle to balance family and work – not just for women but men too,” says its UK and Ireland HR director Isabelle Minneci.

Insight from Ball & Hoolahan suggests that the pay differential is partly as a result of men being more aggressive when it comes to pushing for a pay rise, despite women often being more suited to the job with better attention to detail.

Last year the average pay rise for both men and women was 3.6 per cent. However, male marketing executives managed an average four per cent salary increase while women managed 3.3 per cent.

With such obvious disparity in pay, female marketers are less confident about future pay rises than men. This year, women expect an even worse deal, with expectations of a 2.9 per cent rise compared to male hopes for 3.7 per cent.


Marketing salaries by sector, region and job title
The most stressed marketers 
Board level marketers 
The knowledge gap