There are far more male CEOs in advertising than female, pay gap still exists: Reports

Lucy Handley, special to CNBC
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There are far fewer women at the top of advertising agencies than there are men and there is a small pay disparity, according to an advertising industry body in the U.K.

Only 27 percent of chair, chief executive or managing director roles are occupied by women across both advertising and media agencies, while 32 percent of other senior roles are also female, says the IPA's "Diversity Survey 2016".

And while the proportion of men in agencies increases with seniority, the opposite is true for women: 56 percent of junior staff are female, while 44 percent are male. This increases to 73 percent male at the top of agencies.

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Media agencies have fewer women at senior levels compared to the IPA's 2015 statistics, while the picture in creative agencies is more mixed. The proportion of women at chair, CEO or MD position has increased by 3 percentage points to 27 percent, while those in other executive roles are down from 39 percent to 32 percent.

The IPA does not publish average salary figures for different agency roles, however its report suggests that pay is roughly equal between men and women: men's pay is a maximum of 1.6 percent more than women's, it says.

However, when it comes to personnel across the wider marketing industry, including client-side marketers, the gap in pay is marked, according to a survey by Marketing Week published last week. On average, men earn 22.4 percent more than women, up from 20.8 percent in 2016.

Its figures contrast with the IPA's findings, suggesting that men working in agencies or consultancies are paid an average of 26 percent more than women. The average agency salary is £47,943 ($59,640), while those working for media owners, for example, are paid on average £48,563.

Large employers in the U.K. will have to start publishing pay gap statistics from April 2018.

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