State of pay: Gender, age and location pay gaps revealed by PRCA Marketing Census

A pay gap of more than £20,000 a year between male and female employees in marketing has been revealed by the PRCA Marketing Census 2021, as well as gaps between those working in London and the rest of the country.

The average pay for men was £61,499.50 while women reported an average of £40,642.40 – highlighting a £20,857 shortfall for women.

The overall average salary was £46,899.50 – a figure that is itself high, reflecting the relative seniority of the sample.

Meanwhile, those working in London received an average salary of £56,874.50 while respondents outside London reported an average pay of £40,249.50 – a pay gap of £16,625.

By age, as might be expected, the pay gaps were equally stark, with18-34 year olds averaging £32,187.00; 35-54 year olds earning £49,443.90; and those aged 55+ topping the league at £70,713.80 on average.

Respondents were also given the opportunity to suggest solutions to the pay gap between men and women.

When asked what actions might close the gender pay gap, 53% wanted the industry to create roles with more flexibility.

A tougher stance on the issue from the industry was demanded by 42% while redesigning senior roles so they are open to all was key for 36%.   

Mental health issues affect more than half
Worryingly, although perhaps to be expected given the stresses of the lockdown caused by remote working, longer hours, home schooling and issues around isolation, 51% reported experiencing poor mental health.

The young were most adversely affected. As many as 71% aged 18-34 said they had experienced poor mental health while none over the age of 55 had suffered in this way.

Reflecting other outcomes from covid, among those surveyed, only 15% were furloughed at all. Of those who were furloughed, normalisation had begun already with 63% back at work full-time and 38% back part-time.

Only two-fifths of those surveyed worked at a company that had made redundancies during the pandemic and this was split fairly evenly between in-house and agency respondents.

In terms of the scale of redundancies, half of those who had experienced redundancies said headcounts had been reduced by less than 10%, rising to between 10% and 20% among a third of that group.

Working habits have also shifted completely. Many are working at home full-time or at least part-time. A quarter of those interviewed said they had a hybrid working environment pre-pandemic but today 66% plan to work only part-time in the office once restrictions are lifted fully.   

A healthy industry cross-representation in the census
Participants in the census, conducted by Opinium Research, were evenly split between in-house and agency roles with a total of 53 marketing professionals in the sample. Of that sample, 40% were working for a marketing agency or company, 45% were in-house marketing professionals while 13% said they were freelance.

In-house, 38% of the 24 marketing professionals who were interviewed said their role most closely aligned with communications while 17% said content marketing.

Eight per cent of the total sample were working in event management, account management and brand management.    

PRCA Director General Francis Ingham MPRCA said: 

“Three things stand out for me from this inaugural annual piece of research into the marketing industry.
 
“First, like all industries, marketing took a Covid hit -but recovery is back, and back strongly.
 
“Second, Covid certainly took its toll on us personally. Not just those colleagues who heart-wrenchingly were made redundant, but also the impact on people’s mental health. An impact that fell overwhelmingly on younger members of the profession. We need a fundamental change in how we talk about mental health -maybe this can be the moment we decide to effect such a change.
 
“Finally, the gender pay gap is shocking. Truly shocking. It needs to be addressed far more vigorously than we’ve seen so far. Given we’ve all discovered how flexibly we can work, there is no need for the old-fashioned inflexibility that contributed so much to so many women earning so much less than their males counterparts.”

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