More than half of CMOs are women in popular brands in US

Female outnumber male in CMO roles for the first time, according to the recent Spencer Stuart’s survey. The 18th annual CMO Tenure Study shows that 51% of CMOs among the Ad Age’s top 100 advertisers in the US are women. This is led by a significant increase of new female CMOs – 71% of newly appointed CMOs are women, which grew from 52% in the previous year.

On the contrary, ethnic and racial diversity does not see big changes. Compared to 2020, only 15% of CMOs this year come from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, which is only a 2% increase from last year.

The study also reveals that CMO tenure is incredibly low at 40 months, which is at the lowest level in more than 20 years. This tendency is due to the effort to improve diversity in management, compounded by the pressure from the continued pandemic, the report says. Nevertheless, the tenure is extremely short in comparison to CEO tenure. Now average CEO stays for 85 months, more than twice as long as average CMO. The report expects that intensified pressure for profit among leaders would continuously drive less and less tenure in the new future. Vanessa Lyons, ThinkNewsBrands’ general manager, who was previously nominated for Australian top 50 CMO, says “Overall, I wouldn’t say the requirements of the role have expanded – rather the perceptions and understanding of what a CMO does/delivers have evolved (for the better) and are now much more aligned.” She adds “Martech stacks, for example, now support the role with greater speed, providing data and insights that can empirically validate a customer’s behaviour and needs, thereby arming CMOs with the support they need to drive change within an organisation. “