5 Steps Toward Achieving Gender Parity in the Marketing and Media Industry

It's Advertising Week in New York City (September 26-30) and the industry is bustling with media-related conversation and updates.

Among the buzz is a discussion surrounding the stark reality that is gender disparity — an issue that taints many industries.

While the marketing, advertising, and media industries have made some progress toward equality, there is still a lot of work to be done.

"Over the course of my career, I've had the privilege to hold a number of key leadership roles in media and advertising," Janet Balis, board member of She Runs It, wrote. "Driving this industry closer to gender parity at every level is tremendously important to me."

A recent study, "Accelerating the Path to Leadership for Women in Marketing and Media," commissioned by She Runs It and conducted by EY and LinkedIn, examines "how gender influences career journeys across the media and marketing ecosystem" in order for She Runs It to "pave the way for more women to lead at every level of marketing and media" through a fact-based approach.

Upon concluding the study, it was found that in the examined ecosystems, there remains a huge disparity between men and women.

But, there is hope. Here are five ways Balis believes men, women, and companies can "redress the balance."

1."While 41 percent of the people at early stages of their careers in media and marketing industry are women, at the top, women drop down to only comprise 25 percent of executive leadership roles."
In other words, despite nearly half of the industry being dominated by women, only a quarter of those women have made it to executive positions.

2."Media and creative agencies demonstrate the most stark barrier to the C-suite for women, when compared with career journeys in other subsectors of the industry."
Regardless of the part of the industry, there are various roadblocks for women, but unfortunately, the media and creative sectors particularly pose the biggest barriers for females.

3."Women at the top tend to effectively own their personal brands, but on the journey to those roles, the study showed that women overlooked the need to promote themselves and their work."
You cannot get to your destination without first going along for the ride. And the study shows that once women reach said destination (wherever that may be), they have confidence in their personal brand, but less frequently do they exude that same confidence throughout their journey.

4."Women should prioritize building their professional networks, at each stage of their career."
"Networking is key." Our peers did not tell us that for no reason and data shows that men are making more connections than women, which simply does not help gender disparity.

5. "Men are simply more active and vocal in endorsing others — both men and women."
According to Balis, "Women should take more time to recognize the accomplishments of others publicly," because by leaning in together and lifting others up, we spread positivity.

NEXT: Advertising Campaigns That Wouldn’t Have Been Possible Without Women »

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Photo Credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York