She Runs It: BIPOC industry growth drops from 13% to 5%

She Runs It
(CREDIT: fizkes)

Today, She Runs It released its 4th annual #Inclusive100 report on the state of inclusion and diversity across marketing, media and tech. The report is the industry’s first DEI initiative that uses data to measure progress and share the actionable ideas and practices that truly make our industry’s workforce more diverse and the workplace more inclusive. 

In a nutshell, the data reveals some bad news, and some good news.

This year’s She Runs It survey results captured a DEI snapshot of the marketing industry during an unprecedented moment in time. The data was submitted between December 2020 and March 2021, a year into the Covid pandemic and several months after the murder of George Floyd.

Some of the discouraging trends revealed were likely influenced by these events, because the number of women in our industry declined, and the number of people of color in our industry barely increased from the previous report. 


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#Inclusive100 Key Findings

For the first time since She Runs It started measuring, women do not comprise 50% of the employee population, but rather the number has dwindled to 46.4%, a data point that reflects the exodus of women from the workforce seen in other industries.

The growth in representation of BIPOC employees is glacial. The number of Black people in our industry grew 5%, compared to 13% last year. The number of Latinx employees grew by 4% (compared to 13.1% last year). And those populations still only represent 4.5% and 6.6% of our industry respectively. Compared to the 2020 Census number of 12.4% and 18.7%. Given the outrage triggered by Floyd’s murder, you might expect faster growth as the industry pursued racial equity.

There were some bright spots, however. While growth for the BIPOC marketing population was sluggish, there was positive movement this year in elevating people of color across our industry. This year’s survey dug deeper into promotions data to see how often BIPOC people were being elevated inside their companies.

The data indicates that 28% of promotions at the corporate executive level were given to Black employees, and 42% of companies in our industry have started to require gender and racially/ethnically diverse succession planning slates, up from 17% in 2020. This bodes well as having more people of color in top positions will serve as a beacon to attract more diversity into the industry.

There are more additional data points – the survey is 125 questions long and digs into representation, culture, and recruitment and retention practices. More than 50 agencies, brands and tech companies participate in #Inclusive100, which encompasses the benchmarking study and quarterly roundtable discussions, including GM, Kellogg’s, P&G and Unilever.

To view the entire report, click here.

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