BLM_0051-wmkForbes recently posted the list of highest-paid marketing executives. It is just a top ten list so you don’t get a deep look at the marketing world as it exists today. Even in this snippet, however, there is oh so much to observe.

Only one woman on the list

First and foremost, as the article previews before you even get to the list, only one woman is on the list, and she is in the tenth of ten positions. I’ll grant you it’s hard to cry a river for a woman who is making $3 million a year, but it is telling that only one woman is there.

The only woman on the list works for a business dominated by women

It is hard to ignore the fact that the only woman on this list of highest-paid marketing executives for Avon, a company dominated by serving (predominantly) women. It’s true that numbers are numbers. We have to take the word of Forbes on this and assume the numbers just worked out this way. But isn’t it rather strange how that worked out?

The solitary woman seems to do more than any of the men

One final interesting note about this list. Most of the men on the list have a single title. In fact, most of them are Executive Vice Presidents. Patricia Perez-Ayala, however, carries the following titles after her name: Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Global Brand and Category. Now it’s possible that some of these titles are more decorative than descriptive, but she sticks out like a red thumb in this regard. And yet…she makes the least amount of money as anyone on the list.

While it can be easy to dismiss this list because it does only include ten people, the fact is that there is a trend of women being paid less in the marketing world. In November 2013, Yahoo Finance posted a list of jobs where women tend to earn less than men, and marketing was included. The article noted the following statistics:

Marketing and sales managers
Women’s earnings as pct. of men’s: 67.7%
Women median weekly earnings: $1,110
Men median weekly earnings: $1,640
Number of workers: 916,000

There are plenty of arguments that get tossed around in an effort to explain trends like this. Women aren’t as aggressive so they aren’t good at selling. Women can’t work the same kinds of long hours as men because women want to spend time with the kids. I’ve seen the argument that women don’t get paid as much because they aren’t as good about promoting themselves, too.

Needless to say, I don’t find any of these arguments persuasive, but that does leave us with a mystery on our hands. Is it a simple matter of sexism? It could be. In that case, how do we combat something as base as that? If it is something else, that something must be defined and then acted against or upon.

What do you think this gender gap in marketing is all about? We’d love to hear from you.

Image Credit: via Creative Commons