Congratulations to all the marketers who have made it into Marketing Magazine’s Power 100 of today’s most influential marketers. How brilliant to see that for the first time ever, women make up 6 out of the top ten most powerful marketers including 3 past and future presidents of WACL (Dianne Thompson, Elizabeth Fagan and Roisin Donnelly, the president elect). Interestingly, what distinguishes them and many of the other women featured in the Power 100 is the lengths they go to in encouraging younger women in the industry. They don’t tend to be the sort to reach the top and then pull the ladder up behind them.
This is particularly timely news as tomorrow is a big day in the WACL calendar. Gather, our annual training day, will see nearly 300 up and coming women in the communications industry descend upon Kings Place to receive a series of inspirational talks and coaching sessions by senior women from inside and outside the industry. The aim is to help overcome some of the barriers to women’s potential success by giving them the help and advice of those who have already achieved it to some degree. Best of luck to this year’s WACL president, Kathryn Jacob, and to Pippa Glucklich and Nina Jasinski who, with the help of many willing WACLers, are organising the event on top of their day jobs as senior figures in media companies.
I am also involved in WACL’s fantastic training effort. With the help of very many other WACL members who also willingly give up their time and expertise for free, I organise a programme of training workshops which run throughout the year. This year, nearly 1000 women in the industry will attend a training event organised by WACL. However, every so often I get challenged about whether it is appropriate for us to be running single gender training in this egalitarian age. This is a fair question and I heartily wish that we had enough evidence of that true egalitarianism to make us seriously question its place.
Yes, it’s great that 6 out of the top 10 most influential marketers are female this year, but let’s not get too excited. This healthy percentage peters out somewhat below the top ten. Women make up only 10 out of the top 30 and just less than a third of the top 100 in total. Still, a third of top marketers is better than some of the other statistics around. Women make up only 22% of MPs, 19% of judges and a derisory 12% of board room posts in blue chip companies. In fact one in four FTSE 100 companies has no female board members at all. Meanwhile, 30 years after the legislation was first introduced, there is still a significant pay gap between men and women.
So congrats once again to all the marketers who have made it into the top 100. But, based on the evidence, it doesn’t look like we’ll be cancelling our WACL training effort any time soon.