Visibility In Digital Marketing: Where Are All The Women?

March 8, 2017
For International Women’s Day, we were concerned with the visibility of women specifically the visibility of women in the highest echelons of business and education. That’s the nucleus of shifting cultural attitudes, and we were curious whether visuals match reality when it comes to the digital marketing of these companies. Whether what we see is really what we get.
And this can be applied to all businesses: what do the images displayed on an organization’s website say about its brand? How does the visual content of their digital marketing efforts mirror reality? And does it reflect the organization’s internal machinations?
So we put our ‘Insights for Business’ to the test: we scanned each website of each Fortune 500 company and the world’s top 50 universities to measure the visibility of women as part of their online brand. This would give us insights into the visual presence of each organization.
Using artificial intelligence-driven computer vision, we applied our ‘People Analysis’ tool to the hundreds of thousands of images we measured. Some of its capabilities includes identifying faces within images and obtaining demographic data (age, gender, ethnicity) of those people within the images.
The results are…
after the infographic!


Digital Marketing


The results are surprising in a good way. Women feature in 40% of all images that have people in them. Not bad for a demographic which was once near-invisible in business marketing material.

What is also surprising is that the results for both the Fortune 500 companies and the top universities are EXACTLY THE SAME! (Do you think they aimed for a 40:60 ratio of images to feature women? Is that the new corporate branding? Some questions for you to think about at home.)

Not only are the results of both Fortune 500 companies and the top universities exactly the same, but results of leadership WITHIN these organizations also have similarities. 

While women CEOs make up 5.4% of the Fortune 500 companies, 20% of available board seats are filled by women.  Conversely in the academic sphere, 20% of the top 50 universities worldwide are led by women. Yet there is much debate as to the alleged weighted distribution among tenured faculty and full professors.

One thing is for sure: women are not so invisible any longer — at least not online.

Contact us for more information on how ‘Insights for Business’ can help your brand.

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