Women in Marketing and the Challenges That They Face
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
According to recent estimates by Statista, women hold up to 60% of marketing roles in the United States. However, despite their prevalence in the industry, women still face many challenges that hinder their success. So, which challenges are these, and how can women overcome them?
The prevalent challenges women in marketing face include:
● Rigid work schedules.
● Breaking the glass ceiling.
● Balancing work and family life.
● Gender stereotypes in the workplace.
● Earning less than their male counterparts.
Fortunately, there are ways that women can overcome these challenges. Read on for more information on these and the dos and don'ts for women in marketing.
The Challenges That Women Face in the Marketing Industry
There's no question that women are making great strides in the world of marketing. From CMOs to content creators, women are taking on more senior roles than ever before. Yet despite this progress, challenges remain for women in marketing.
Here are some of the biggest challenges women face in the marketing industry:
Rigid Work Schedules
One of the main challenges women face is a rigid work schedule. Due to societal norms, women are often expected to take on most of the child care and household responsibilities, making it difficult to maintain a demanding job. As a result, many women find themselves working long hours, often taking work home with them or checking email in the middle of the night.
While it's becoming increasingly common for both men and women to work flexible hours, most marketing jobs still require a traditional 9-5 schedule. This can make it difficult for women to advance in their careers, as they often have to choose between career and family responsibilities.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Women still face a "glass ceiling" that limits their advancement opportunities in many industries. The term "glass ceiling" refers to the invisible barriers that prevent women from reaching the most senior positions in an organization.
These barriers can include gender bias and discrimination, a lack of female role models, and the perception that women are not suited for senior roles. As a result, women are often passed over for promotions and opportunities, despite having the same qualifications as their male counterparts.
Balancing Work and Family Life
The juggle between work and family responsibilities is another challenge many women face. In most cases, women are still responsible for most child care and household tasks, which can make it difficult to maintain a demanding job.
In addition, many workplaces have a "motherhood penalty" that penalizes women with children. This can include reduced pay, fewer advancement opportunities, and less job security.
Gender Stereotypes in the Workplace
In many workplaces, gender stereotypes continue to exist. This can manifest itself in the form of assumptions about what women are capable of or the belief that women are not as good at math and science.
This can be particularly challenging for women in marketing, who often have to deal with numbers and data. It can also lead to a lack of confidence and self-doubt, as women feel that they must disprove the negative gender stereotypes to be successful.
Earning Less Than Their Male Counterparts
One of the most frustrating challenges for women in marketing is earning less than their male counterparts. According to a study by Search Hermit, female marketers in the U.S. earn an average of 66.4 cents for every dollar earned by men.
This wage gap can be attributed to many factors, including the prevalence of gender stereotypes in the workplace and the lack of female role models. As a result, women often find themselves at a disadvantage when competing for jobs and promotions.
Ways Women in Marketing Can Overcome Challenges
Despite these challenges, there are several ways that women can overcome the obstacles they face in marketing. Here are four tips:
1. Advocate for Flexible Work Schedules
Speaking up for yourself and pushing for a flexible work schedule that works for you and your family is a great way to combat the challenges women face in marketing.
You can negotiate for a flexible work arrangement when you're offered a job, or ask your boss for more flexible hours if you already have one. This can include working from home, telecommuting, or flexible hours.
2. Lean on Your Network for Support
The marketing industry is a connected community, and you're likely to know someone who can help you advance your career. Tap into your network of colleagues, mentors, and friends to get advice, feedback, and job leads.
Here are some tips for building a strong network:
● Join industry organizations and attend networking events.
● Connect with people on LinkedIn.
● Participate in online forums and chats.
● Volunteer for industry events.
3. Make Your Voice Heard
To make progress, it's important to speak up and share your story. Share your thoughts and experiences in industry publications, online forums, and conferences. This will help break down the barriers that women face in marketing and inspire other women to pursue a career in marketing.
Pro Tip: Don't be afraid to ask for help when you're facing a challenge. There are plenty of people who are happy to offer advice and support, so don't be shy about reaching out.
4. Create a Personal Branding Strategy
To stand out in a competitive job market, developing a personal branding strategy is important. This involves creating a strong online presence and cultivating a professional identity that showcases your skills and experience. By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you'll be better equipped to advance your career and earn the recognition you deserve.
Here’s some inspiration to help you get you going:
Stories of Successful Women in Marketing
Despite the challenges women face in marketing, several successful women have achieved great things in the industry. Here are three inspiring stories of women who have broken the glass ceiling and achieved success in marketing:
1. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.)
Sheryl Sandberg is one of the most successful women in marketing, and she's also one of the most influential voices in the industry.
She started her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and later became the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She's also the author of the best-selling book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead."
2. Meg Whitman, Former CEO of HP
Meg Whitman is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest technology companies in the world. She's also a member of the board of directors for Procter & Gamble, eBay, and DreamWorks Animation SKG.
Whitman is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, and she's been recognized as one of the most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine.
3. Indra Nooyi, Former CEO of PepsiCo
Indra Nooyi is the Former CEO of PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies. She's also a member of the board of directors for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Dow Chemical Company.
Nooyi is a graduate of Madras Christian College and Yale School of Management, and she's been recognized as one of the most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine.
Dos and Don’ts for Women in Marketing
While women face many challenges in marketing, there are also several ways to overcome them. Here are four dos and don'ts for women in marketing:
● Find a mentor or a role model who can help you navigate the industry.
● Develop a personal branding strategy to help you stand out in a competitive job market.
● Speak up and share your story to break down barriers and inspire other women.
● Network with colleagues, mentors, and friends to get advice and job leads.
● Be afraid to ask for help when you're facing a challenge.
● Compete with other women in the industry.
● Accept the status quo - challenge the gender stereotypes that exist in the workplace.
● Let anyone stop you from achieving your goals.
Women face several challenges in the marketing industry, but there are many ways to overcome them. By speaking up and sharing your story, developing a personal branding strategy, and networking with colleagues and friends, you can break down the barriers that stand in your way.
Finally, several successful women in marketing can serve as mentors and role models. So don't be afraid to reach out for help when you're facing a challenge.