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Elephant in market research?


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Follow up to and - is there gender bias in market research?

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Elephant in market research?

  1. 1. Is there an ELEPHANT
 iN market research? Michele Madansky, Ph.D. September 2017
  2. 2. 
 Genesis of this research…
  3. 3. The impetus…ellen pao vs. kleiner perkins
  4. 4. The impetus…ellen pao vs. kleiner perkins
  5. 5. The impetus…ellen pao vs. kleiner perkins
  6. 6. Invited to keynote at sxsw
  7. 7. ELEPHANT
  8. 8. Key Themes Emerged Boys Will Be Boys Toxic Culture No Seat at the Table Rock and a Hard Place The Work Wife (Un)Fair Pay Moms Go Home The Other Others
  9. 9. MADISON AVE vs. SILICON VALLEY Madison Avenue Silicon Valley Have been subjected to an unwanted advance 54% 60% “I feel like I am on equal footing with my male colleagues” 37% 55% “I have been asked to do lower level tasks than my male colleagues” 60% 47% “I have been told I was too aggressive” 68% 84% I have taken a shorter maternity leave than I was entitled to because I thought it would negatively impact my career (base: moms) 28% 52%
  10. 10. 
 How does Market Research stack up?
  11. 11. Thanks to all who responded :) • Email invitations were sent to The Insights Association members, and links were posted to social platforms • Survey was modified based on Elephant in The Valley and Elephant on Mad Ave • 374 female participants - analysis was based on females only • 99 men started the survey (only 15 completed the survey) • Profile of female respondents: • Age: 17% Under 30 / 30% 30-39 / 24% 40-49 / 28% 50+ • Company Size: 31% Under 50 / 38% 51-799 / 30% 800+ employees • Company type: 49% Market Research Firm / 23% Corporate Research Department / 28% Other
  12. 12. “ ” I think we need all the information we can collect. Since I sit at the intersection of MR and technology, I tend to think of MR as being the more inclusive field, but that's setting the bar awfully low. We can do a lot more. “ ” Marketing -- and therefore marketing research -- is dominated by women, but not in the leadership ranks. Not a good thing at all. the male perspective…
  13. 13. overall, we are doing pretty well 2 in 3 women in market research agree they are on equal footing with men 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 6%10%5% 11%25%24% 25% 13% 5% 27%32% 36% 30% 21% 30% Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree I feel like I am on an equal footing with my male colleagues. The marketing research industry is no more sexist than any other industry. I have had all of the same opportunities as men in my profession.
  14. 14. “ ” Maybe I'm lucky - I don't think in my career I've ever felt a moment of sexism or gender bias. Perhaps been oblivious! “ ” The Insights Industry should be proud of their strongly female-influenced history and use that experience to help other industries where the reverse has been true. women’s perspective “ ” In general, I think the Market Research Industry is one that prides itself on women leaders. In my organization, the female leaders/managers outnumber the male managers.
  15. 15. “ ” I've noticed over the past 20 years that my male MR peers became VPs while I stagnate in middle management. It's not for lack of trying. Equivalent education and experience did not help. “ ” As a woman in an analytical field, I find I sometimes have to spend more time gaining respect for my intellectual abilities compared to my male counterparts. It's frustrating and exhausting at times. women’s perspective “ ” I get lower level projects compared to my male counterparts. I am seen as a qualitative specialist not because of my expertise but because I am a "touchy-feely" person. I do not get higher level quantitative projects because I am not the "numbers guy."
  16. 16. but Not everyone is a mensch… 35% of respondents told us they had experienced unwanted advances at least once in their careers. Among those, they have experienced this more than once from: 46% Colleagues 37% A Superior 36% A client 61% of women in advertising have witnessed sexist behavior at off-sites or conferences
  17. 17. still can be uncomfortable work culture The majority have heard demeaning comments with 1 in 4 hearing them monthly 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 37%49%44% 32% 28% 33% 13%8%11% 18%15%12% a few times/month or more once a month less often never Heard demeaning comments from male colleagues Clients/colleagues address questions to my male peers that should be addressed to me Clients/colleagues make eye contact with my male peers, but not me
  18. 18. SOME Women Say There’s 
 “No Seat at The Table” 42% Women who reported they have had their credibility and/or influence undermined by a male colleague 28% Women who reported they have been excluded from important business events because of their gender
  19. 19. “ ” Our Annual Golf outing, all the men wanted to play with each other. When I mentioned a couple of women who might want to play, I was told that they wanted to check if a male colleague wanted to go first. “ ” In my years of practice and now as a female CEO I do still run into on occasion the traditional "boys club" mentality of exclusion for being a woman - not as much as I did in my earlier career but yes still happens - sad but true.
  20. 20. goldilocks syndrome exists 
 60% have been 
 told they are 
 “too quiet” 53% have been 
 told they are 
 “too aggressive”
  21. 21. (Un)Fair Pay is Still a Reality 
 For Women IN RESEARCH 59% believe they are less well compensated than their male peers (and some had proof of this)
  22. 22. “ ” I feel like men are paid more because they are "supporting a family" and I don't get as much because my husband works too. “ ” In many cases, you have to ask for more (or threaten to leave) to get more and men are more likely to do that than women so they wind up making more on average “ ” My former boss, a male, informed me that I am making just over 50% of what my predecessor was paid.
  23. 23. being a Mom is not career limiting How has being a mom impacted your career? 31% 40% 28% negatively positively no impact
  24. 24. “ ” My "seniority" was docked while I was on maternity leave, giving peers more seniority than me and thus first choice of opportunities. “ ” I made the decision to own my own company and work on my own terms. “ ” It’s given me perspective on different audiences (e.g., moms, working moms, children, etc.)
  25. 25. The Other Others have more challenges Life in market research can be particularly tough for women of color, 
 older workers, LGBT, and those who don’t fit limiting beauty standards. 22% of respondents believe there are “other factors” 
 which have impacted their careers.
  26. 26. “ ” There is a lot of discrimination against older workers in general -- especially female older workers. “ ” Appearance. Physically attractive women are taken less seriously but at least they are invited to things. Being overweight I tend to get boxed out of everything. “ ” Not having the same origin, same culture...
  27. 27. 
 Bottom Line: Market Research has less gender bias than some industries…but we still have room for improvement
  28. 28. MARKET RESEARCH vs. mad ave/SILICON VALLEY Market research Madison Avenue Silicon Valley Have been subjected to an unwanted advance 35% 54% 60% “I feel like I am on equal footing with my male colleagues” 67% 37% 55% “I have been asked to do lower level tasks than my male colleagues” 41% 60% 47% “I have been told I was too aggressive” 55% 68% 84% believe they are less well compensated than their male peers 59% 60%
  29. 29. Final thoughts…
  30. 30. “ ” How can you research sexism by restricting the sample to one gender? That seems to introduce a great deal of bias in your findings. “ ” This survey is too long market researchers make tough respondents “ ” questions seem a bit leading/biased
  31. 31. celebrate our (relative) inclusivity…but continue to monitor and improve • Our industry has a lot to be proud of… • many women feel included, valued and have a seat at the table • Showcase this as a way to attract more women into research and insights careers • We cannot rest on our laurels… • Ensuring women have equal opportunities for promotion and are compensated fairly • Thanks to The Insights Association for partnering on this research
  32. 32. continue the conversation… @michmd 
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