Industry salary survey: female creative directors earn more than male peers, but men earn 40% more overall

Female creative directors in Australia earn more than their male counterparts, a salary survey by recruiter Firebrand has suggested.

The research – which covers jobs in marketing, advertising, creative and digital – also found that that the salaries of art directors, digital marketing managers and account directors in PR agencies tend to be higher among women than men.

The difference is biggest among art directors, where women earn 19% more than her male peers.

However, in every other position except for account executive – where salaries are equal – men earn more; 40% more overall.

On average, the median base salary of a marketing or ad industry professional is $63,000 for women and $88,000 for men.

The disparity between salaries of creative directors can partly be explained by the sample size – only eight women responded to the survey compared to 68 men. Michelle Walsh at Publicis Mojo Melbourne and Leslie Ali at The Jamboree are among the few top female creative directors in Australia.

“There are more men than women in senior roles in Australia, which is partly explained by women leaving the work force around about the age of 30 and – let’s be honest – inherent discrimination in the industry,” said Greg Savage, CEO of Firebrand.

“When women return to the work force, many find they have missed the boat, which partly explains the pay disparity between men and women,” he said.

Around 9,000 people were surveyed via Firebrand’s salary comparison portal. Salaries were entered anonymously, with 4,503 women and 4,273 men taking the survey online.

The story of overall male dominance in the earning stakes is similar in New Zealand – but women earn more than men at account director, marketing manager and web designer level, according to the research.

Salary survey New Zealand

The results for the UK also show male dominance.

However, in Hong Kong women appear to have the upper hand on pay.

But in Malaysia, men are paid more in every sector in the business.



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.