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Advertisers fail to represent older women and women of colour

11 Mar 2024
By Hattie

A recent report by CreativeX , the fourth Gender In Advertising Report, unveiled annually on International Women’s Day, has shed light on the stark underrepresentation of women of colour and older women in advertisements throughout 2023.

Despite some progress, the report highlights glaring gaps that continue to marginalise certain demographics.

Key takeaways

  • Older women only have a 5% presence across all ads despite their male counterparts being 25% more likely to feature.
  • Women of darker skin tone only accounted for 21% of all ads featuring women whereas lighter-skinned women appeared nearly four times more frequently.
  • Women depicted in non-traditional roles such as leadership and professional settings remain disproportionately low.

Further compounding these disparities is media spend with investments heavily skewed towards lighter-skinned individuals and younger demographics. For example, only 3.7% of overall ad spend on ads featuring women showed them in non-traditional roles.

“It seems there’s still a disconnect between creative teams and the people that are making the purchase decisions,” noted Anastasia Leng, CreativeX’s founder and CEO. “Even when these numbers shift in terms of portrayal, media spend doesn’t quite seem to follow.”