Exploring Women in Marketing: A mixed methods study

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1 Exploring Women in Marketing: A mixed methods study Dr Carley Foster, Dr Dan Wheatley and Professor Clare Brindley Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University SAMS June 2013 a BAM SIG Event

2 Approach Prompted by lack of research on women working in marketing and their career trajectories (Maclaren and Catterall, 2000) Sector dominated by women Need for research into women as marketing professionals rather than consumers Existing research considers sectors within marketing (PR, advertising etc) rather than industry as a whole Moves away from a comparison with men Women s careers are typically patchwork or kaleidoscope (Bateson, 1990) Aim to compare patterns in the roles and demographics of employed and self-employed women in marketing (and related occupations) Self-employment represents a career stage for female marketers motivated by the need for independence/ control, the gendered culture of an organisation and their personal/ domestic circumstances (Patterson and Mavin, 2009)

3 Approach Data set (Secondary data): Labour Force Survey analysed Primary data: Convenience/snowball sampling - 26 UK based women owned marketing SMEs who previously worked for a large organisation Themes explored: the purpose and nature of their business, their role in the business, their career history, their personal and business related aspirations, their experiences of running the business, reasons for starting the business and why they worked in marketing Participants were encouraged to tell their personal stories Supported by Academy of Marketing and NBS Seedcorn funding 3

4 Secondary Data Analysis: Approach 1. Choosing the secondary data-set: Potential Sources: Labour Force Survey (LFS); British Household Panel Survey (BHPS); Understanding Society (US); EU Labour Force Survey (EULFS). Criteria for choice, strengths/limitations. 2. Variable identification. 3. Descriptive analysis. 4. Statistical analysis: regression. Choosing the model (binary logistic regression); Interpreting results. 4

5 Marketing Occupations by Gender, Men (%) Women (%) Occupation (Marketing only) Employed Selfemployed Total Employed Selfemployed Total Marketing and Sales Managers Advertising and Public Relations Managers Designer (Advertising) Buyer (Advertising) Marketing Associate Professionals Filing and Records Assistants (Marketing) Market Research Interviewers General Office Assistants (Marketing) Total Source: UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Quarter Quarter Note: 5 21 June Figures 2011 are averages taken over 39 quarters.

6 Secondary Data Analysis: Key Findings Notable occupation split between men and women marketers: fewer women than men work in senior marketing roles (glass ceiling). High number of employed/self-employed women have qualifications, particularly in senior roles: marketing increasingly professionalised. Women may seek credibility in industry through qualifications, perhaps attempting to overcome glass ceiling (Broadbridge, 2008). A number of women in marketing adopt an entrepreneurial career strategy, often reflecting a career/life stage. Self-employed are, on average, older women (often in their 40s), married, with dependent children. Gender norms (e.g. caring) may therefore act as a driver for movements into self-employment. Flexibility key many work from home but often equated with lack of commitment in corporate environment (Dikkers et al, 2010). 6

7 How was the qualitative stage designed? Literature review plus findings from LFS developed into interview themes Interview schedule Sampling: convenience East Midlands then conference presentation yielded contacts in East England and Wales snowballing Administration Feedback loop 7

8 An overview of the case studies Range Age of business 1 yr- 18yrs Service provided NPD, Research, PR, Internet, Comms, Social marketing, strategic marketing Age of owner Marital status Single, married, widowed, co-habiting, divorced Children s ages 2-19 Highest qualification Masters Hours worked per week No. of employees 0-5 (70) 8

9 Findings Conscious decision to remain marketers Risk aversion identified Trigger event has to be contextualised as a series of interrelationships Flexibility issue/role conflicts Not under-performing Describe themselves as marketers or business women Current business support is dis-engaged from their needs 9

10 What have been the advantages of our approach? Working across disciplines Good for looking at the why? questions and probing Practioners have liked it: local media and professional body coverage 10

11 What have been the disadvantages? Expense of data sets Funding not great enough to get much support Problems gaining access to sample Time consuming: travelling, transcription etc. Publications haven t liked the interdisciplinary nature of the work 11

12 Future research Broaden out to other sectors such as retail Incorporate a further dataset Further details 12

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