Gender pay gap persists in content marketing—men are earning 5 figures more than women

by | Aug 21, 2020 | Public Relations

PR is a gender-unbalanced industry, as we know, when it comes to sheer numbers in the workforce compared to pay equity and leadership presence—but it’s not the only comms space with such issues. As new research from Managing  Editor magazine reveals, women dominate the content marketing field, but they aren’t earning the biggest paychecks, with the men surveyed earning roughly $10,000 more than their female colleagues.

“Content marketers wear a lot of hats, and we know that they do so much more than write or edit. They make complex business decisions tied directly to business goals. They have many different titles—writer, editor, director of content, social media manager—with a wide range of duties. That’s why we decided to launch our first-ever content marketing salary survey,” said Mary Ellen Slayter, publisher of Managing Editor, in a news release. “We suspected that pay might not be entirely commensurate to the value many of these professionals bring to their organizations.”

Gender pay gap persists in content marketing—men are earning 5 figures more than women

The survey asked basic questions about the content marketer’s role at work, the tools they use to manage projects, their career experiences and ambitions, and their pay and bonuses. In total, 164 content marketers participated in the survey, including people working in B2C, B2B nonprofit and government roles. The vast majority of respondents live in the U.S. and Canada.

Key highlights from the research:

  • Survey respondents were highly educated and mostly women. They were also overwhelmingly white, consistent with the general perception of the field not being very diverse.
  • Writing, editing and strategy were respondents’ favorite job duties. People reported being a lot less excited about budgeting, social media and vendor management.
  • More than half of respondents were eligible for a bonus. The median bonus reported was $6,000 for 2019.
  • Respondents are running lean teams. A majority of respondents manage groups of five people or less, whether it’s freelancers or staffers.
  • Responses point to a significant gender pay gap—and an even bigger pay differential between B2B content marketers and their B2C peers

The survey’s release comes with the caveat that it represents data collected before the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Managing Editor chose to close out the survey early to protect the integrity of the data; as a result, the survey has a smaller sample size than initially expected.

“This is not the compensation report we wanted to publish,” said Tom Anderson, managing editor of Managing Editor, in the release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reshaped the economic landscape for content marketing along with everything else in our lives. We know that the data collected in the before times could be meaningless to your career a few months from now.”

Gender pay gap persists in content marketing—men are earning 5 figures more than women

“The best way to view this survey is as a snapshot in time,” Anderson added. “Here’s what content marketing careers looked like before the most significant economic challenge since the Great Depression. As things turn around, we hope this survey provides content marketers with the information they need to negotiate pay raises, consider better ways of doing their jobs or find new jobs that better suit their interests and skills.”

Gender pay gap persists in content marketing—men are earning 5 figures more than women

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter