The number of women in senior roles in advertising and marketing jumped a hefty 11% in 2012 suggesting the industry’s gender diversity initiatives are finally making inroads.
Women made up 34% of the senior industry workforce last year, up from 23% in 2011, according to the latest annual Salary Survey from the Communications Council.
But across top management roles, such as chief executive, general manager, national creative director and others the rate of change is significantly slower.
Last year women made up 29% of top management positions – an increase of three points compared with 2011 levels.
Industry-wide, women and men are represented in equal numbers, virtually unchanged over the same period. This suggests that while men dominate the senior and top level ranks, women dominate the lesser echelons.
Margaret Zabel, former marketer from Lion and chief executive of industry body the Communications Council today told The Australian the new figures were altogether promising.
"While it's looking promising, the next three years will really prove whether this trend continues as we roll out a three-year strategy aimed at providing tools and guidance to ensure gender balance within our industry's agencies,” she said.
Zabel said the issue was a key focus for the ogranisation this year, with results from a deeper study into gender imbalance due this month set to inform the way the industry tackles the subject going forward.
The Communications Council last year formed a gender diversity group which released findings in September indicating gender imbalance is seen as a low priority within agencies.
This prompted a number of independent agency initiatives which included the formation of the STW Women In Leadership Group last August. This group aims to better support senior female leaders who work within STW and build existing and prospective high potential women into business heads.