Whichever initiatives or statistics you look at, the reality is that the senior leadership in any sector or specialist industry is nowhere near equal yet. In fact, in the UK we’re falling short of government-backed targets for corporate gender equality.
So, what career can women look to in order to set a path to Board level? Personally, I have to advocate the marketing arena as a great option.
With the reputation of being the ‘colouring in department’ far behind us, the marketing sector is a beautiful blend of creativity and commercial acumen. Marketing is no longer seen as being a ‘cost’ to the business, but instead, the marketing departments output is now positioned as being a driving force for the business, fuelling growth and innovation. The marketing department often drives customer insights, much of the sales nurturing process, and now even oversees the end-to-end customer experience. The CMO plays a vital role at the Board table and can even see this as a career path to the top job. Click here to get vital tips from CEO who have made the transition from CMO.
The great thing about marketing is that there’s no single route to the top. You can work your way up from smaller beginnings, like accomplished consumer brand marketeer Charlotte Sundberg Cox. Charlotte worked her way up from a Brand Manager at what was a small family run business, to ultimately taking their products to the global stage and seeing herself join the global Board of now multi-national Nelsons.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a qualification to boost your marketing career, you can look at the options available from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, like Leigh Hopwood. Leigh now not only has several successful Board positions behind her but also shares her passion for the industry in her role as Chair for CIM.
We clearly still have much work to do to deliver gender equality, so let’s make this a year to accelerate the pace of change by doing our bit in marketing. McKindsey & Company have some great tips and advice on what we can all do to drive that change.
The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.
Better the balance, better the world.