OPINION24 February 2016

It’s not the policies, it’s the culture that counts

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Impact Opinion UK

Anna Cliffe shares her five pointers for how to create a business culture that encourages better female representation at all levels of the market research profession

Anna Cliffe b&w_crop

There’s a widespread belief that women outnumber men in market research; that we’re much more suited to understanding people; that it’s the perfect career for women. Is that true? 

I do believe there is a certain type of person – both female and male – that market research attracts. Thoughtful; articulate; maybe even a little bit introverted. Perhaps the stereotypical ‘alpha male’ workplaces aren’t found quite so often in market research – it’s not like working in the City or in law. But it’s a lot subtler, and more complicated, than that in the real world of market research. 

If we take a good look at the make-up of market research agencies, we can see some patterns emerge. We have lots of female graduates coming into the industry. We have many talented women who deliver fantastic work through to senior levels. But at the top end of the industry – and especially in the bigger agencies ...