In a recent study by ANA, it was identified that 45% of CMO positions are held by women (source). At nearly half, this sounds like a cause for celebration, however, in Marketing Week’s 2018 Career and Salary survey it was revealed that women in the marketing industry earn less than male marketers in every role apart from marketing assistants (source). Furthermore, only 13% of CMOs or CMO equivalent positions are held by people of colour (source).
It’s great that we’re seeing such progress, however, we recognize that representation still remains an issue within the marketing industry.
To celebrate the women at the top of their game, here are just 10 of many powerhouse CMOs that should be on your radar if they aren’t already.
Karen Walker is Chief Marketing Officer and the Senior Vice President and at Cisco. Having become Cisco’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2015, Walker was named as one of the ’50 Most Innovative CMOs in the World’ by Business Insider in 2016. Walker has over two decades worth of experience in the IT industry and in marketing leadership roles.
Having joined IBM in 1991, Winans served in a number of leadership roles at IBM. Winans is an active member of IBM’s Hispanic Executive Council, IBM’s CMO Council and has supported initiatives such as IBM’s Super Women’s Group reaching women professionals across the company.
3. Ukonwa Ojo, CMO, Coty (Cover Girl)
When Ojo was appointed CMO of Coty’s Beauty Division, including brands CoverGirl and Sally Hansen, she focused on listening to consumers who believe in makeup being a “powerful tool for self-expression”. Prior to Coty, Ojo’s career spans across several FMCG companies including, Unilever, General Mills and RB.
4. Deobrah Wahl, CMO, Cadillac
Having been appointed as CMO of Cadillac, Wahl previously held the position of CMO at McDonalds. Prior to this, Wahl has over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, in companies such as Chrysler, Toyota Motor Sales USA and Ford Motor Co. Wahl ranked 17 in Forbes Top 50 Most Influential CMOs 2018.
5. Alegra O’Hare, VP of Global Brand Communications, Adidas Originals and Style
The leader behind the 2017 Cannes Grand Prix winning campaign, “Original is Never Finished”, O’Hare is at the forefront of fresh and creative campaigns. O’Hare believes that people are king when it comes to a meaningful brand marketing strategy (source)
Alexandra Weiss is the CMO of Glossier, the makeup brand that creates products inspired by the people that use them. Weiss believes in listening carefully to the consumer base, opening up a conversation that allows the consumers to be true stakeholders.
El has been the CMO of NBA since 2014. El describes her journey to CMO, a role that didn’t previously exist within the NBA as a “dream come true”. El has lead the integration of technology into NBA’s campaigns, realising that most NBA fans interact with the brand through technology rather than inside the arena.
Appointed in 2014, Goldin is the CMO for the largest toy company in the world. Goldin is led by the core Lego mission – “to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” Goldin has used gender-targeting in the brand’s marketing strategy in a bid to get more girls engaged with Lego, believing that the toy is for everyone.
Boff has been at GE since 2003 and was appointed CMO in 2015. Boff believes that empathy is key to understanding what a consumer wants and argues that it’s possible to display humanity and empathy whilst still being a driven and innovative leader in marketing (source).
Henderson is the SVP of marketing at Buzzfeed, having previously spent nearly a decade leading content and media monetization at Mondelez.
She now leads the BuzzFeed brand for clients and its audience, including the franchises and shows such as Tasty, Nifty, Worth It, and The Try Guys.