Digital marketing most reliant on foreign talent while women’s salaries still lag study finds


Jodie Sangster: “There is a significant skills gap.”

The Australian marketing industry leads the nation in relying on overseas workers, the latest Digital Industry of Australia skills and salaries survey has revealed.

The report revealed the digital industry has 10% of staff employed on 457 visas, well ahead of the Australian national average of just 1%, while it also showed average salaries for women were still substantially lower than for men.

AIMIA has also revealed massive divide in salaries between the sexes, with the median salary for women 15% lower than men, while women represented 42% of the industry compared with the ‘all industries average’ of just over 40%.

The high cost of living in Sydney was also represented, with workers in Sydney paid on average 10% more than their Melbourne counterparts.

Start-ups proved to be the most lucrative option for people working in the digital sector, paying a median salary of $100,000 compared with the private and public sectors, with a median of $96,000. Predictably, not-for-profits had the lowest median salary for digital professionals at just $72,400.

Female remuneration in the digital industry has been highlighted as a major problem for employers.

AIMIA gender “Across all digital professionals, the median salary for males is $101,000, while the median salary for females is only $85,000,” the survey reported.

While women matched men in salaries at the executive level, both boasting a median of $200,000, the discrepancies emerged at all levels immediately below, in roles such as sales, ecommerce, creative and creative services, and client service, where women earned, on average, $25,000 less than men, annually.

In sales, women were earning an average of $45,000 less than men.

The fast-paced nature of the digital industry sees it heavily reliant on importing talent from overseas.

AIMIA residency“The Australian digital industry continues to show high numbers of 457 visa employees with 10% of workers on temporary work or working holiday visas,” the report said.

“This is compared to the national average of around 1%. Cumulatively, these results highlight the significant shortage of digitally skilled Australians in the industry and the preference the industry has for immediately skilled resources rather than a training/development approach.”

The report is the first release from AIMIA since the digital industry body was rescued from closure and taken under the auspices of the Australian Data-Driven Marketing Association last year. Jodie Sangster, CEO of AIMIA and ADMA, said the local skills gap represented an important opportunity for the industry.

“We know that there is a significant skills gap within many areas of the digital, media and marketing landscape and the high proportion of 457 visa holders within the digital industry reflects the demand for ‘ready made’ skilled executives,” said Sangster.

“There is significant opportunity for both employers and employees alike to develop and nurture local talent in order to continue to drive innovation within the Australian digital industry and foster the next generation of digital executives.”

Simon Canning


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