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Demand for emerging technology roles is on the rise, yet gender wage gap persists, according to new salary guide by Aquent

Among marketing, creative and design workers, gender and geography affect employee salary, with women making 10% less than their male counterparts on average.

Boston, MA – January 25, 2024Aquent, a work solutions company, has released its 2024 Salary Guide for marketing, creative, and design talent. This year, it explores how marketing, creative, and design roles are expanding in response to disparities among gender pay, new and emerging technology, and how remote work enables workers to earn from geographies outside major metropolitan areas. Paired with Aquent's 2023 Talent Insights Report, the Salary Guide provides an opportunity for companies to examine how to build high-performing teams and fairly compensate them.

“The workplace has been rapidly evolving—from where and how we work to the technology we use, and even the roles themselves. Aquent's 2024 Salary Guide gives us an important pulse check on the industry and helps us anticipate what's to come,” said John H. Chuang, Founder and CEO of Aquent. “Our comprehensive review of more than 21,000 salaries reveals both the progress that the industry is making and the work left to do. We must use this guide to build a roadmap for a thriving, innovative, and inclusive creative, marketing, and design world.”

Gender pay gap:
In 2023, Aquent's salary data showed a shrinking gender wage gap within the marketing, creative, and design fields, but this year's findings demonstrate a gap that is once again widening. Aquent's 2024 Salary Guide shows that, on average, females are earning 90% of what their male counterparts earn, a wage gap of 10%.

“These findings aren't what we hope to see and represent an opportunity for improvement. Progress is nonlinear—still, industry leaders should take these findings as proof that true equity requires constant, persistent work,” said Rohshann Pilla, President of Aquent Talent. “Companies that are committed to true pay equity should see this as a galvanizing moment to push forward with their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.”

Emerging roles in high demand:
With the advancement of Generative AI and immersive technologies like ChatGPT and Midjourney, there are endless opportunities across every industry. As the world of technology and how we do business changes, so do the roles needed to power our new future. Aquent's data suggests the future-facing roles set to shape the job market are in Design, Engineering, and Operations, and demand for many of these roles has grown by more than 20 percent in the last year. These roles include:

  • Concept Artist (Median Salary: $166,400)
  • AR / XR / VR Engineer (Median Salary: $287,040)
  • AI Content Moderator/Auditor (Median Salary: $62,400)

Shifting geographies:
The 2024 Salary Guide data also confirms location still matters when it comes to compensation. A global McKinsey survey of 13,000 office workers in July 2023 found 56% were in the office 1-4 days a week (hybrid), 37% were in 5 days (entirely on-site), and just 7% were fully remote. As companies continue to reinvent the workplace and remote / hybrid work options make the talent pool more competitive, key geographic findings from Aquent's 2024 Salary Guide are instructive:

  • More than 90% of employees must live within commuting distance of the office.
  • The gap widened from last year—salaries in City Group 1 (New York, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley) gained 5.5% on average, more than double other city groups.
  • Median salary between the lowest and highest cost-of-living city groups differed by 27.5%, or $28,000. Last year, that difference was 24.5%, or $24,000.

Aquent's 2024 Salary Guide is available here.

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