Under the Influence - 80+ Influencer Marketing Statistics (Infographic)

Under the Influence - 80+ Influencer Marketing Statistics (Infographic)
ByMilan Mijatovic
February 08,2021

While influencer marketing isn’t exactly a modern invention, it has certainly reached new heights over the past decade. Back in the day, movie stars, athletes, and musicians could earn a pretty penny by promoting products and services. At the time, this was the most effective way to reach and influence a broad audience. But not anymore. Nowadays, the focus has shifted to “normal people” who the audience can relate to. Influencer marketing statistics show us exactly how much this trend affects our society and what we can expect in the future.

It might not surprise you to hear that influencer recommendations today mean a lot more to young people than celebrity blogs and endorsements. While celebrities often appear fake, influencers come across as more relatable, honest, and authentic. Because of that, many younger internet users rely on these individuals to help them decide what’s cool, what’s reliable, and what’s worth buying.

Influencer Marketing Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • In 2018, companies who used influencer marketing got a 520% return on investment.
  • 49% of users rely on influencer recommendations for their purchases.
  • In June 2018, Instagram reached one billion active users.
  • Micro-influencers with fewer than 100k followers are responsible for the majority of posts on the platform.
  • 66% of influencers on the web focus on fashion, beauty, or lifestyle.
  • The primary concern for 42% of marketers is dealing with fake followers (bots).

Marketer and Influencer Stats

1. Analysts predict the influencer marketing industry will be worth $9.7 billion in 2020.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

Marketers know that in order for their brand to reach its full potential on social media, they need to employ influencers. Year on year, the growth of this industry has been around 50%. In 2019, the industry was estimated to be worth $6.5 billion. And it will only continue to grow.

2. In 2019, nearly 90% of marketers ran multiple campaigns.

(Linqia)

The success of influencer marketing has driven up the number of campaigns marketers use today. One campaign is simply not enough to both drive brand awareness and generate sales, so the majority of companies will run multiple, sometimes simultaneous, campaigns. Among surveyed marketers, 24% of them ran more than five campaigns in 2019, with 16% of them maintaining an always-on campaign.

3. 91% of marketers believe in the effectiveness of influencer marketing.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

Influencer marketing stats from late 2019 show that, unsurprisingly, marketers put a lot of trust in their influencer campaigns. This is comparable to the number of respondents that planned to invest in influencer marketing during 2020, especially with how good ROI has been in the past several years.

4. When they pick influencers, 29.2% of marketers look at engagement rate as the main factor.

(SocialPubli)

Other figures show that 23% of marketers look at content quality, 21.2% focus on reach, while only 14.2% consider audience size. If we’re to trust these influencer marketing statistics, only 12.4% worry about how much the influencer costs. This suggests that the ROI is so good that most marketers don’t even think about the price.

5. 77% of marketers believe micro-influencers will play a large part in the future of digital marketing.

(Linqia)

Considering that the majority of posts on Instagram are created by micro-influencers, it makes sense that they will continue to play a role in the future of marketing. Based on some influencer marketing facts, marketers predict that AI and live video will also be significant trends in the future.

6. Nano influencers are being requested more often than celebrities.

(Linqia)

A nano influencer doesn’t have a huge following - usually under 5,000 followers. But in the eyes of many marketing companies, they offer a better ROI than using a big-name celebrity. 

Among the surveyed marketers, 25% want to work with nano influencers, compared to 22% who still prefer working with celebrities to promote their products. Celebrity influence is slowly dwindling because it’s too commercial. What people really want is a genuine connection, and nano influencers offer exactly the kind of authenticity that makes it possible. 

7. Companies using influencer marketing saw a 578% return on investment in 2019.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

This study used data from 2,000 companies. Compared to data from 2018, when the ROI was at 520%, this is quite a significant growth. This shows that marketers are getting a better understanding of employing these types of campaigns.

8. During the past year, 5% of brands spent more than $500,000 each on influencer campaigns.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

The majority of marketers will not spend more than $50,000 a year hiring influencers. In fact, 43% spend less than $10,000 annually. Of course, the bigger the influencer, the higher the price goes, so a small portion of big brands will gladly spend much more than others for hiring the mega stars of social media.

9. In 2019, 57% of marketers said that they would increase their influencer marketing budget in the following year.

(Linqia)

Most experienced marketers know these ad campaigns work, so they’re willing to invest more and more in them each year. Even though influencer marketing ROI is lower now than it was a few years ago, we can expect things to pick up again.

10. Only 5% of marketers plan on spending half or more of their budget on influencer marketing.

(Linqia)

Traditional marketing is still the dominant form of advertising, even in 2021. While the trend of employing influencers is on the rise, with 43% of marketers planning to spend between 11% and 25% of their budget for influencer campaigns. Still, one-third of surveyed marketers don’t want to dedicate more than 10% of their budgets on paying influencers.

11. Repurposing influencer ads is the strategy of 89% of marketers.

(Linqia)

Once the content is produced and posted online, it’s out there forever. So, a logical step for marketers is to repurpose what they’ve already paid for. Companies will re-post paid content as either promoted posts across other social media channels or use it for organic growth, depending on what kind of content was produced in the first place.

12. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 39% of influencer marketers use conversions as a primary measure of success.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

Trends are also changing in the way the success of influencer marketing campaigns is measured. Previously, marketers used site engagement metrics, but in 2019 that trend was overtaken by calculating conversions. It makes sense, too. It’s one thing for a potential customer to just click the link, learning something about the brand, but it’s a whole other situation if they actually end up making a purchase.

13. 71% of marketers keep up with the latest FTC regulations and know how to implement them.

(Linqia)

FTC guidelines are there to protect consumers and sanction influencers who don’t follow the rules. That’s why it’s important that marketers familiarize themselves with all the latest changes and modifications. All these regulations are clearly defined for each social platform, so there is zero room for error or misunderstanding.

14. On the other hand, only 14% of influencers are fully FTC compliant.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

Even with many efforts by social media platforms to ensure ads are marked as ads, the majority of influencers still don’t mark their posts by the FTC standards. Analysts fear that this may lead to more drastic measures by the authorities, potentially leading to another “adpocalypse.” On the other hand, the situation is improving ever so slightly, since in 2018 this number was sitting at just 11%.

15. The primary concern for 42% of marketers is dealing with bots that might follow the brand influencer.

(Marketing Charts)

There are two main problems with an influencer having too many fake followers or bots. First off, having too many of these automatic fans might result in problems with the FTC, which could lead to account suspension. In addition, from a marketer’s point of view, there’s no point in paying for a campaign that mainly reaches fake users.

Social Influencer Marketing

16. 64% of influencers say they would never accept a huge amount of money if it would cost them their followers.

(Hashoff)

This data shows most digital influencers nowadays value their fanbase more than money. The respect they get from their followers seems to be invaluable. That, in turn, makes them more desirable on their chosen platforms. 

17. 45% of influencers are contacted at least four times a month with campaign proposals.

(Influence.co)

It’s interesting to note that while almost half of influencers get at least four offers a month, there’s a good chance those offers won’t be accepted. In fact, 44% of influencers say they only accept one in four offers they receive. This suggests that demand for marketing influencers actually outweighs supply right now.

18. 49% of influencers are paid a flat fee per picture, while 11% are paid based on performance.

(Influence.co)

Almost half of all influencers are paid per picture, which means that they don’t have to worry about audience engagement or any other metrics. Their only job is to post the picture and carry on with their normal work. It’s understandable why that business model is a lot more attractive to influencers than other alternatives, which could prove to be far less reliable.

19. 66% of influencer networks focus on fashion, beauty, or lifestyle.

(Influence.co)

This information suggests that beauty and image trump all other concerns. Naturally, influencers are ready to help us ease our insecurities. The 66% share shows what kinds of products and services people are most likely to shop for online.

20. 12% of influencers say that most of the time they have no control over the copy used in their promotions.

(Influence.co)

Among these influencer marketing statistics, one worrying snippet shows that 12% of influencers don’t even write their own posts. This flies in the face of the authenticity and honesty influencers are supposed to represent.

21. For 63% of campaigns, influencers don’t even use contracts.

(Influence.co)

Despite the fact that marketers spend billions of dollars on influencer campaigns, 63% of influencers still don’t use contracts to protect themselves or their work. This is a poor practice that is set to change as regulations get more and more rigid.

Instagram Influencers Marketing

22. Instagram has 1 billion active users.

(Hootsuite)

There’s no doubt that Instagram is one of today’s biggest social media platforms. In 2018, there were 1 billion registered users, a 1,000% increase since 2013. By the end of 2019, the monthly active user number has also reached 1 billion, solidifying Instagram as the platform your brand needs to utilize. 

23. 500 million Instagram users watch Stories every day.

(Hootsuite)

Even though they’re not originally Instagram’s invention, Stories have become hugely popular on the platform. These are photo or video posts available in a separate feed that automatically disappear 24 hours after being posted. Ability to link Stories to a website has increased their popularity among both marketers and influencers.

24. 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand on the platform.

(Instagram)

Another unsurprising fact is that fans will stay fans wherever they go. Instagram is no different. In fact, a vast majority of users end up following brand accounts, so that already creates a loyal fan base to which a company can promote its products.

25. Female influencers produced 84% of sponsored Instagram posts in 2019.

(Statista)

For years, beauty and fashion have been on the forefront of advertising on Instagram. Since these industries mostly have female consumers, it comes as no surprise that influencers are predominantly female. 

26. The number of sponsored Instagram posts is projected to reach 6.1 million in 2020.

(Statista)

Looking at the Instagram influencer marketing statistics throughout the past several years, a trend can be seen regarding the number of sponsored posts. It is constantly on the rise, although not at the 100% rate we’ve seen from 2016 to 2017. In 2019, there were 4.95 million sponsored posts on Instagram, and in 2020 this number is expected to rise by more than a million.

27. A study from April 2018 found out that more than half of influencers use Instagram Stories as their preferred outreach method.

(eMarketer)

Instagram Stories were introduced in August 2016 and gave users a chance to create posts that only last for 24 hours. It is a great customer acquisition method because it allows influencers to reach people who don’t already follow them.

(Business Insider)

We’ve already mentioned how the influencer marketing industry revolves around beauty tips and lifestyle instructions, so it makes sense that fashion represents a quarter of all Instagram sponsored posts. 

29. Micro-influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers are responsible for the majority of posts on Instagram.

(Socialbakers)

Nearly a third of all profiles on Instagram belong to so-called micro-influencers, who can have anywhere from 2,000 to 100,000 followers. The interesting thing about influencer culture is the fact that there’s room for everyone. In fact, top Instagram influencers with over a million followers only make up 1% of all accounts on the platform.

30. 97% of marketers plan on using Instagram for their influencer campaigns in 2020.

(Linqia)

Instagram has finally overtaken Facebook as the most popular influencer platform. Not only are Instagram posts sitting at the top spot, but Stories are also making their way up - 83% of marketers are planning to pour their budgets into promoting their products with Stories produced by influencers. The reason? Vertical video. For 55% of marketers, vertical video will play a key role in 2020 campaigns.

YouTube Influencer Stats

31. 10 brands spent $1 million each on sponsoring YouTube videos.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

“This video is sponsored by…” You know the drill. Sponsored video segments, basically ads that are embedded into the video, are turning to be quite an investment for certain brands. These famous words were most commonly spoken for SkillShare, Squarespace, Nord VPN, Blue Chew, and DLive.

32. Brands spent more than $90 million on YouTube influencers during Q1 2020.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

During the first quarter of 2020, more than 1,300 brands were spending money on sponsored content on YouTube. In total, there were 5,680 videos produced, amassing 704 million views.

33. On average, advertisers spent $16,011 on each sponsored YouTube video.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

While sponsorships with top YouTube influencers don’t come cheap, the growth of micro and macro influencers lead to a wide variety of pricing tiers. Looking at the numbers during Q1 2020, we can see what amount of money on average is needed for each influencer campaign on the platform. In the future, analysts predict that YouTubers at or below 100,000 subscribers could be the biggest driving force for marketing campaigns.

34. Epic Games was the biggest spender in the first half of 2020 with a campaign worth $10.6 million.

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

The gaming powerhouse Epic Games, the owners of Fortnite and Epic Games Store, had a way bigger marketing budget for YouTube than anyone else. Sitting in second place is Bang Energy with $7.7 million, while SkillShare comes in third with $3 million in sponsored content expenses. Gaming is huge on YouTube and, with the world’s most popular game under its belt, Epic knew the value of promoting on this platform.

35. Four in 10 millennial consumers feel that their favorite YouTube influencer understands them better than friends or family.

(ThinkWithGoogle)

While these statistics might appear worrying, they certainly fit with the whole concept of influencers. Marketing to teens nowadays boils down to promoting normal, down-to-earth, relatable figures who understand what young people are interested in. That’s why millennial influencers are so effective. Because of that, teens, millennials, and other younger demographics feel a strong connection to them.

36. Half of YouTube’s top 10 earning stars are gamers.

(Forbes)

Industry statistics reveal that some of the most influential YouTubers on the platform are gamers. This reflects the continuous growth of the gaming industry, which is expanding rapidly. In an effort to compete with websites like Twitch, YouTube has also introduced streaming, which has further helped gaming channels gain prominence.

37. 18% of users are influenced by YouTube when it comes to their purchases.

(Shane Barker)

YouTube is one of the biggest and most popular online platforms for product reviews. There are thousands of channels specializing in unboxing videos and hands-on reviews, all of which give potential customers a better feel for the product than written reviews. Influencers who create reviews often make deals with YouTube influencer marketing, in which they get free products, or even cash, in exchange for their reviews.

38. YouTube has the best engagement rate, ranging from 4% to 6.7%.

(CreatorIQ)

YouTube is a platform designed to drive engagement. Either by involving viewers in the discussion or by them sharing and liking videos, the drive to engage with content is inherently higher than on any other platform. Data from 2016 to 2019 demonstrates that Twitter has the lowest engagement rate, with 0.17% or lower depending on the audience size.

User Statistics You Should Know

39. 49% of users rely on influencer recommendations for purchases.

(ION)

Online bloggers are so influential that almost half of users on the web rely on their recommendations when deciding to make a purchase. This shows that influencers are at least as important as all those hard-working marketers out there.

40.  Influencer marketing statistics show that young people (ages 18-34) are more likely to buy a product endorsed by an influencer than one endorsed by a celebrity.

(Marketing Charts)

About 10 years ago, the go-to stars for product promotion were actors, musicians, sportspeople, and other celebrities. Nowadays, it’s all about influencers who seem a lot more trustworthy and relatable. Indeed, 22% of young people trust influencers’ choices, compared to just 9% who trust celebrities.

41. 94% of users think authenticity and transparency are essential.

(Marketing Charts)

Authenticity and transparency are two of the most important traits in celebrity influencers. If they want to keep their followers, these social gurus need to be original, cultivate their own voice, and make sure that their behavior is completely transparent. This is the best way to earn their audience’s trust and respect.

42. 19% of consumers rely on Facebook influencers when they purchase products.

(Shane Barker)

Statistics show that 19% of users turn to Facebook influencers for advice regarding product purchases. Although the platform is now less popular than its sister network, Instagram, it is still the preferred platform for thousands of influencer marketing companies.

What About Twitter?

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve mentioned pretty much every major social media platform except for Twitter. So, who are Twitter’s biggest influencers? What are some of the most interesting Twitter followers statistics?

Unfortunately, a lot of Twitter statistics revolve around the company’s own reports and estimates. Twitter seems to be desperately looking for a way into the world of real influencer marketing, even though the platform is inherently restricted by its 280-character limit for tweets.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are influencers?

Influencers are individuals who function as self-proclaimed authorities in their respective fields. They create content about anything from fashion and food to technology and art. Although they build up their reputation by offering authentic, unbiased opinions, many still team up with marketers to raise brand awareness, improve customer engagement, or simply explain the benefits of a product.

What is a social influencer?

Most of the time when people talk about influencers, they mean social influencers. That’s because social networks are the main platforms for reaching out to audiences and promoting posts. Currently, the most popular social network for influencers is Instagram, with over a billion active users.

How much do Instagram influencers make?

According to Ashley Hajjar, the director of influencer marketing at Rakuten, a single sponsored post can cost anywhere from $50 to $50,000 depending mainly on the popularity of the influencer. In general, the more followers the influencer has, the more money he or she can make from the campaign. Some experts estimate earning power at one cent per follower.

How to reach more people on Instagram?

According to influencer marketing statistics, the best way to reach new audiences on Instagram is through interesting Instagram Stories and posts that use new, relevant hashtags. The most important thing, however, is that you offer original, engaging content that people enjoy.List of

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(Pew Research Center) Millennials are all those born between 1981 and 1996, and back in 2019, they accounted for over a third of the US labor force. In 2016, the millennial generation surpassed Generation Xers and became the largest population in the US labor force.  According to research from 2019, Millennials are expected to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025.  Gender Diversity in the Workplace Statistics Only 8% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are female. (Statista) The gap between male and female leadership roles has always been a thing, and there are multiple statistics to confirm that. However, it looks like things are changing for the better. As Statista confirmed earlier this year, there’s been a new record when it comes to female CEOs. As of June 14, 2021, there were 41 female CEOs employed at Fortune 500 companies. According to the statistics, this wasn’t the only record that got broken. For the first time ever, two black women are running America's 500 highest-grossing companies, giving us hope that gender diversity on executive boards might become a reality in the not-so-distant future. In terms of the median salary in the US, women earn around 18% less than men. (PayScale) The gap between the leadership roles isn’t the only hurdle that women are facing in business nowadays. PayScale, a company that helps employers and employees understand the appropriate pay for every position, reviewed these issues in its Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021. According to this report, women earn only $0.82 for every dollar a man makes. Although it might sound discouraging, this is a slight improvement compared to 2020, when they earned one cent less, as per employment diversity statistics. Also, bear in mind these are uncontrolled pay gap statistics - when doing the same job with the same qualifications, the numbers are less dire: women earn 98 cents for every dollar a man does. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fathers who worked remotely were promoted three times more than women in the same position. (CNBC) The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of the business as we know it. Many had to adapt to the new reality and switch to their home offices instead. According to a CNBC report, 34% of men with children working from home received some kind of promotion during this period.  On the other hand, women’s jobs have been hit much harder by the pandemic. According to an analysis conducted by the National Women’s Law Center, of the 1.1 million workers ages 20 and over, who left the labor force between August and September of 2020, 865,000 were women. Racial and Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Statistics 46% of Hispanic and 39% of black women earn less than $15 an hour. (The Washington Post) In 2019, around 39 million people earned less than $15 per hour. These 39 million employees made about 28% of the workforce at the time, and the majority of the low-wage category consisted of Hispanic and black women. In fact, they were more than 2x as likely as white men to fall into this wage category.  Based on the Washington Post’s research on diversity in the workplace, statistics haven’t really changed since 2019. Roughly 46% of Hispanic women and 39% of Black women still make less than $15 an hour. On the other hand, only 18% of White and Asian men hover around this wage bracket. More than 90% of all Google employees are white or Asian men. (Statista) According to Statista, the distribution of Google employees in the US from 2014 to 2021 does not look very racially or gender-diverse. The data for 2021 shows that white men account for 50.4% of employees, with Asian men following with 42.3%. On the flip side, only 4.4% of the employees are black men and women. If you look at the timeline of these statistics on diversity in the workplace, you will see the Asian population is experiencing steady growth, while the white population dropped from 64.5% in 2014 to 50.4% in 2021.  In 2019, black people held only 3.2% of senior leadership roles in large organizations in the US. (Coqual) “Being Black in Corporate America” is the name of Coqual’s intersectional exploration aimed to show if and how things have changed for the black people in the US during the past few years. The research on the representation of black adults in the US has shown that only 3.2% of black people held senior leadership roles in major companies, with just 0.8% of them being Fortune 500 CEOs. Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace Statistics Diverse companies produce 19% more revenue than those with non-diverse leadership. (Forbes) A study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), published in 2018, has found that diverse leadership increases the bottom line for companies. According to the study, increasing the diversity of leadership teams can lead to improved financial performance and better innovation. The study included 1,700 companies of all sizes across eight different countries. These findings are important as they show that diversity isn’t just an inclusion metric but an integral part of any successful business. In 2019, gender-diverse companies were 25% more likely to outperform their competitors. (McKinsey) Various diversity in the workplace stats show just how important diversity is and how it can help boost the overall performance of businesses of all sizes. Based on the findings from McKinsey’s research in 2019, companies with gender diversity have 25% higher chances to achieve higher profits than those with less gender diversity on the executive boards. Ethnic diversity in leadership teams is another vital factor. According to the report, companies implementing ethnic and cultural diversity on the executive level have a 36% likelihood of outperforming the competition.  Diverse companies are 70% more likely to acquire new markets. (Harvard Business Review) (Josh Bersin) Establishing a diverse workplace is vital for all modern organizations, and there are many diversity in the workplace statistics that prove this. Diverse companies also have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. They are also far better at capturing new markets when compared to the companies that do not practice diversity hiring.  80% of US job candidates look for inclusion when choosing an employer. (Deloitte) Salary and working hours aren't the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing a new employer. Back in 2017, Deloitte published a research paper that surveyed more than 1,300 full-time employees from a range of organizations all across the US. The paper showed just how important diversity and inclusion initiatives are by showing that four-fifths of all employees look for an inclusive workplace. 39% of respondents confirmed they would quit their current job if they found a more inclusive working environment, while 23% indicated they already left a job for that very reason.
By Nikolina Cveticanin · October 04,2021
Women account for 50.8% of the US population, hold 57% of all undergraduate degrees, and approximately 60% of all master’s degrees. And even though they hold about 52% of all management-level jobs, American women cannot keep pace with men in terms of representation when it comes to top leadership roles.  As male vs. female CEO statistics show, it’s the profit and loss roles or P&L responsibilities such as leading a brand, unit, or division, that set executives on the track to becoming a CEO. On the other hand, women who advance into C-suites - the “chief” jobs in companies - typically take on the roles such as head of human resources, legal, or administration. Although all of these functions are extremely important, the line of work they focus on doesn’t involve profit-generating responsibilities, which rarely makes them a path to running a company. Why does the percentage of CEOs that are female remain low in all parts of the world? There isn’t a simple answer to this question. Several studies have shown that it’s the fusion of work-life constraints, early professional trade-offs, and firmly established attitudes towards women in power and the skills and traits that make a good leader that can explain why the careers of equally ambitious and capable men and women often take such different turns. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting findings. Male vs Female CEO Statistics - Editor’s Choice Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. There are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. Women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020 globally. At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  59% of male employees aspire to become CEOs versus 40% of women. 77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity at the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. Between 2015 and 2020, the share of women in senior vice president roles in the US increased from 23% to 28%. (McKinsey & Company) Over the same period, the percentage of women in the C-suite went up from 17% to 21%. All women, especially those of color, remained significantly outnumbered in senior management positions. However, prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the representation of female workers in corporate America was slowly trending in the right direction.  According to 2020 statistics on female CEOs in the United States, 21% of C-suite members were women.  (McKinsey & Company)  Based on the survey results published by McKinsey & Company, there’s a leaky pipeline for women in leadership. In 2020, female workers accounted for 47% of entry-level positions, 38% of management roles, and 33% senior management/director roles. Women were entrusted with under one third (29%) of all vice president positions in American organizations. For every 100 men who got promoted to a managerial role, only 85 women advanced to the same position, based on the 2020 data.  (McKinsey & Company) This gap was even larger for women of color as only 71 Latinas, and 58 Black women received a promotion. Consequently, women remained underrepresented at the managerial level holding just 38% of manager positions, while men accounted for 62%. Male vs female CEO statistics from 2020 indicate that 39% of senior-level women burned out compared to 29% of men. (McKinsey & Company) Furthermore, 36% of women felt pressured to work more, in comparison with 27% of men. At the same time, 54% of C-suite women reported that they constantly felt exhausted, and so did 41% of men in similar positions. More than 50% of women in senior leadership roles promote gender and racial equality at work, in comparison with approximately 40% of male top executives. (McKinsey & Company) Women in leadership positions are more likely than men in senior-level roles to take a public stand on racial and gender diversity and champion the advancement of employee-friendly programs and policies. Women CEOs are also more likely to sponsor and mentor other female workers. According to the results of a recent survey, 38% of women in senior-level positions currently mentor or sponsor at least one woman of color, compared to only 23% of men in the same roles.   Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. (Fortune, Statista) In 2021, the number of women appointed to CEO positions in America's 500 highest-grossing companies reached an all-time high. However, the new record still only translates to approximately 8% of female representation at the top of the country's largest public businesses.  On the plus side, the number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies almost doubled in comparison with 2018 when there were 24 females leading the nation’s biggest businesses. Calls for diversity and inclusion in the highest echelons of America’s business world are starting to bear fruit as the number of female Fortune 500 chief executive officers increased for the third consecutive year. The top five biggest female-led Fortune 500 businesses as of August 2021 are CVS Health (rank four), Walgreens Boots Alliance (rank 16), General Motors (rank 22), Anthem (rank 23), and Citigroup (rank 33).  Speaking of women in leadership roles, statistics show that there are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. (Fortune) For the first time, two Black women are running Fortune 500 businesses - Roz Brewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance (rank 16) and Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA (rank 79). Before Duckett and Brewer started their new jobs in 2021, only one Black woman - Ursula Burns, former Xerox chief - had ever been appointed CEO at a Fortune 500 business on a permanent basis. After Burnes stepped down from the role in 2017, and, with the exception of Bed Bath & Beyond's Mary Winston, who worked as interim chief for a few months in 2019, Black female chief executive officers have been missing from the Fortune 500 list ever since. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser is the first woman to run a major Wall Street bank. (Fortune) Fraser’s appointment marked huge progress for the financial industry. Much like Dick's Sporting Goods chief Lauren Hobart, Clorox chief Linda Rendle, new Coty CEO Sue Nabi, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Roz Brewer, Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA, and CVS’s CEO Karen Lynch, Fraser took over from a male CEO. Statistics on Fortune 500 CEOs by gender reveal that there were only 37 female and 463 male chiefs leading America’s highest earning businesses in 2000. (Fortune) The number of women in CEO positions in the Fortune 500 hasn’t been growing steadily throughout the last two decades. There were 24 female chiefs in 2015, 21 women CEOs in 2016, and 32 women running Fortune 500 businesses in 2017, while that number dropped to 24 in 2018.  At the median, 16 female CEOs earned $13.6 million in 2020, in comparison to $12.6 million for the 326 men included in a study. (Equilar) According to a study published in May 2021 comparing a male CEO salary vs. a female CEO salary, women have outpaced men in total pay but remained underrepresented in executive positions. Equilar’s study indicates that Lisa Su, the chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices, was the highest-paid woman for the second consecutive year and the highest-paid CEO overall in 2020.  Globally, women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020. (Heidrick & Struggles) The highest percentage of newly-appointed female CEOs was in Ireland (15%), while the lowest was in Brazil (0%). This is according to a paper that analyzed the backgrounds of chief executives leading 965 of the largest companies in 20 markets around the world. It sought to identify the skills and experience that shaped their path to the top while taking different male vs. female CEO statistics into account.  At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  (Morningstar) According to a study that explored the gender gap in US companies, the number of male executive officers is seven times higher than the number of women holding the same positions. More than 50% of the companies analyzed didn’t have a single female on their lists of executive officers. Jackie Cook, the author of the Morningstar report, found that online retail giant Amazon didn’t have any women among its highest-paid executives as of 2020.  Women who negotiate for raises and promotions are 30% more likely to be considered as "too aggressive" or "intimidating". (Business Insider) Speaking of male managers vs. female managers, statistics reveal that women who don’t negotiate at all are 67% less likely to receive the same negative feedback. The proportion of women in senior management roles increased from 20% in 2011 to 29% in 2020, globally. (Grant Thornton) As 2019 saw a jump of 5% compared to 2018 (amounting to a total of 29%), 2020 represents a leveling off of the progress made during the previous year. This lack of movement doesn’t necessarily reflect a failure of companies to address the existing gender gap. Globally, the proportion of companies with at least one woman in senior management was 87% in 2020.  (Grant Thornton) The number of female CEOs and senior managers has risen by almost 20 percentage points over the last few years. For comparison, this figure stood at 68% in 2015 and 68% in 2017.  77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity in the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. (Working Mother Research Institute) Only 41% of female survey participants, as opposed to 64% of male respondents, said they have a network of coaches, mentors, and sponsors offering them career guidance. 37% of women versus 64% of men said that their companies provide information on career paths that lead to executive roles. (Working Mother Research Institute) Additionally, women CEO statistics indicate that 74% of female employees understand what the specific requirements are for advancing to the highest-paying roles in their companies even though they don’t receive this type of information directly.  60% of women believe they have the same opportunities to advance as anyone else at their workplace versus 74% of men.  (Working Mother Research Institute) Similarly, 65% of women express they are satisfied with the way their careers are progressing, and so do 78% of men.  Male vs female CEO stats reveal that 59% of male employees aspire to become chief executives versus 40% of women.  (Working Mother Research Institute) Of those women who aspire to become CEOs, 6% are first-level managers (as opposed to 13% of men) and 39% are executives. The same goes for 40% of men hoping to take on the role of chief executive officer.  Businesses with high representations of women in leadership roles had a 35% higher return on equity and 34% higher total shareholder return in comparison with male-dominated companies.  (Catalyst) Female vs male CEO statistics compiled by an NGO during a review of 353 Fortune 500 companies show that the differences were most apparent in facial services, consumer discretionary, and consumer staples industries.
By Milica Milenkovic · September 24,2021

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