Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), a non-profit organization created over 100 years ago to support women as leaders,
has launched a new brand identity, She Runs It, which aims to signal a pivot in the organization's mission, shifting from winning more seats at the table for women, to a sharper focus on paving the way for women to lead at every level of marketing and media.
The launch follows the release of a study entitled Accelerating the Path to Leadership for Women in Marketing and Media which was commissioned by AWNY and powered by Ernst & Young and LinkedIn.
Of the study, Lynn Branigan, President and CEO of the new AWNY entity, She Runs It (http://sherunsit.org/), said, "There is data that proves women-led companies are extremely profitable, socially responsible and innovative, yet women remain vastly under-represented in the most senior roles across our industry. You can't solve a problem this pervasive until you truly understand it, so this study is designed to lead us to data-driven solutions. We didn't want to just confirm what we already know, we wanted to identify specific actions that companies and individuals can make to correct the industry's track record."
For the study, researchers looked at more than 4,000 companies across seven sub-sectors. The resulting sample set reflects more than 3.7 million members globally across all career stages. The sub-sectors included publishers, pure-play digital publishers, broadcast and cable networks, ad-tech companies, creative and media agencies, public relations and advertisers.
The study revealed several insights about how women progress through their career trajectory and confirms some industry speculation about what keeps women from reaching the top of their organizations.
Only 41% of the people at early career stages in marketing and media workforce are women. And by the time they reach positions of executive leadership, women comprise only 25% of those roles on average.
According to the study, talent and career trajectories vary by sub-sector, with broadcast/cable, ad-tech and pure play digital struggling the most to attract women. Overall, representation of women is trending downward in every sector except PR. The biggest barrier for women remains the step from senior leadership into the C-suite and the dropoff at the top is most dramatic in media and creative agencies.
Commenting further on the study, Ernst & Young Principal Strategy Leader Janet Balis said: "More than three million profiles from LinkedIn were analyzed in aggregate, providing definitive data points and insights at scale. It's very powerful to have the data to inform what actions we can all take to fast forward to gender parity at the top of our industry. Across media and advertising, it's particularly powerful to look at the specific sub-sectors that drive the ecosystem so we help build a better working world across the leading companies. The call to action is clear for individuals and companies."
AWNY, now known as She Runs It, aims to continue paving the way for women to lead not only at senior levels of marketing and media but also at entry-level positions.