The Email Rainbow: The Business Is Less Diverse Than The U.S., More So Than Advertising

The U.S. email industry is less diverse than the country as a whole.

Of the people working at email jobs overall, 65% are White, while 6.4% are Hispanic, 9.3% are Black, 11.2% are Asian and 8.1% are in the “Other” category, according to the 2021 Email Benchmark Report: Diversity, a study by the email marketing community Only Influencers. 

In contrast, 60.1% of the total U.S. population is White, 18.5% Hispanic, 13.4% Black, 5.9% Asian and 4.3% other.  

The disparity is even more pronounced in leadership offices. Whites hold 73.3% of email leadership jobs, versus 7% for Asians, 4.9% for Blacks and 1.6% for Hispanics.  

Gender is another issue. Of the individuals serving companies and teams, 51% are female and 49% male. But males hold 69.2% of the leadership titles, versus only 30.8% for females.

Still, the email business looks pretty good in comparison with advertising as a whole, where 75% are White, 9% Asian, 8% Hispanic, 6% Black and 2% other, according to statistics from   



And a staggering 88% of CMOs are White, versus only 3% who are Black, 5% Asian and 4% Hispanic.

In the UK, the email business is way more diverse than society in general. The study shows that 64.8% of companies and teams are white, 13.4% are Asian, 9.2% Black and 5% Hispanic. 

In contrast, 87.2% of the general UK population is White, 4.8% Asian, 3% Black and 0% Hispanic. In addition, 5.7% is Other. 

Why is this important (apart from fairness and equity?)

"A recent McKinsey & Company study found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the lowest quartile,” Genevieve Longtin, Daniel Noriega, and Dela Quist write in the study.

They add: “When looking at ethnic and cultural diversity, McKinsey’s findings were equally compelling; top quartile companies outperformed those in the lowest quartile by 36% in profitability.”

Only Influencers has set a goal of matching the ethnic mix of email professionals to that of the population at large by January 2025, writes Jeanne Jennings, general manager of Only Influencers. 

Drilling down, here is the ethnic makeup of U.S. email companies and teams:

  • White — 64.8%
  • Black — 9.2%
  • East Asian (China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, etc.) — 6.9%
  • Hispanic/Latinx — 5%
  • Middle Eastern (Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.) — 2%
  • Native American — Negligible
  • Multi-ethnicity — 2;5%
  • Other — 1.7%

Only Influencers surveyed 135 email industry professionals between September and November 2020. Of those, 73% of the respondents were based in the United States and 14% in the UK. In addition, 5% were located in the European Union, and the remainder split between Canada, India and other locations. 

The group will update specific numbers when 2121 UK and 2020 U.S. census data are released. 




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