In what could be a blow to the male ego, for the first time, female marketing executives have earned higher pay than men in 2019, according to a study by CMO Council, the global body of senior marketing executives.
In a detailed report, it looks at the jump in female salaries in companies of different sizes last year, ranging from small to big corporations. This is the first time female pay has outpaced male pay, the CMO Council observed.
According to the CMO study, female marketers earned an average of $213,000 and their bonuses $56,000 compared to the male counterparts who earned an average of $210,000 and bonuses at $53,000.
Reasons for the pay bump
The bump in pay also attests to the reports by executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates that a marked increase in the number of female marketing leaders was noticeable in the first half of 2019. It said it was a record and 48 percent of all such appointments went to women.
The report concurs with other findings that the hiring rate of women by major advertisers as CMO soared. The percentage of female CMOs at the 100 most advertised brands jumped to 43 percent in 2019 compared to 36 percent in 2018 and 28 percent in 2017, per executive search firm Spencer Stuart.
Trend the same in all companies
The CMO Council report carries comprehensive data on the earnings and bonuses of female and male marketers. It surveyed companies with more than 250 employees, companies with 50 to 249 employees, smaller companies with 10 to 49 employees, and tiny companies with fewer than 10 employees.
According to one school of analysts, the higher pay and perks earned by female marketing executives reflects the surge of more women joining bigger companies as marketing heads where revenue and salary packages are higher than SMBs. Big companies align compensation to performance and the package will include year-end bonuses, the CMO Council notes.
Interestingly, 57percent of CMOs expressed dissatisfaction with compensation packages despite meeting their goals. The survey also said nearly two-thirds (65percent) of chief marketers are expecting a raise in 2020.
But the survey taken before the coronavirus pandemic did not envisage the battering of the global economy by the pandemic reflected in the stock market as well.
Digital marketing and women CMOs
The study also found digital marketing skills are in big demand and higher CMO salaries are indicative of higher performance. The percentage of female CMOs new to the job rose to 48 percent in 2019 hinting that more women will be hired as CMOs in the years ahead as companies are seeking to diversify their leadership.
Women marketers have also scripted success stories compelling big companies to hire or promote women as marketing leaders to support the CMO report.
One example of women empowerment in senior marketing position is consumer goods giant Unilever promoting Conny Braams into a new role of chief digital and marketing officer in January 2020. Earlier, she was heading the company’s Middle Europe operations.
Kimberly-Clark, mass marketer of CPG goods appointed Zena Arnold as the chief digital and marketing officer. She has also worked for Google, Kellogg and Procter & Gamble.
These high profile appointments signal that women are rising to leadership roles of marketing in big companies and their skills in digital marketing are also being honored.