June 2023 President’s Note

Jun 06, 2023

Time flies when you’re having fun. That’s certainly how I feel as I start month seven with the CMA.

I’m excited about how the Association is evolving and championing marketing’s powerful impact by uniting our community, advocating on crucial issues, and helping you prepare for the future of marketing, while also delivering on today’s business needs.

June is Pride Month and we’re looking forward to celebrating the diversity of LGBTQ2S+ communities, while acknowledging their history, the hardships they’ve endured, and the progress that has been made and still needs to be made.

In keeping with the CMA’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, we released the results of our third DEI survey last week to strong media interest, with national coverage in both the marketing trades and the broader press.

Aptly named DEI in the Marketing Profession: Progress and Challenges, the survey found that marketing organizations with well-diversified leadership teams benefit from 10x higher employee engagement and 4x better retention.

In contrast, disengagement rates are significantly higher (60%) than in previous years for employees in workplaces whose leadership is not diverse. In organizations with well-diversified leadership, only a small minority (14%) say they feel disengaged sometimes.

Ageism in marketing was another key theme emerging from the research. Nearly half of marketers say ageism is tolerated more than other forms of discrimination. This is rarely discussed or included in DEI efforts. We will be working with the profession to bring more attention and action to address this issue.

An immediate action we’ve taken from the research is to create a discussion guide for marketing leaders (which you can find on pages 27-28 of the report) to help advance your DEI efforts. It complements the DEI Resource Hub that we launched last month.

We are hosting CMAinclusion on June 20th. This virtual event, which is free for members, will feature presentations on diversity, equity and inclusion in the marketing community, to support organizations in understanding and applying best practices. CMA's DEI Committee and other subject matter experts will share their insights.

On May 24th, we had a successful Annual General Meeting and welcomed a new Vice-Chair and Board Director. Please join me in congratulating our new Vice-Chair Alan Depencier (Chief Marketing Officer, Personal and Commercial Banking and Insurance, RBC), and in welcoming our new director – Jacquie Ryan (CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation, and Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee).

As our Board Chair Kerri Dawson so eloquently shared: “Alan and Jacquie are both seasoned marketing executives and experienced directors who have a long history of involvement with the CMA. Their participation ensures that our board continues to represent the breadth and high level of talent in the Canadian marketing profession.”

The active involvement of our members is one of the most fulfilling aspects of leading the CMA. On June 12th, our members from CMA’s nine Councils will be gathering in person to celebrate their accomplishments over the past year. It promises to be an inspiring afternoon. If you’re interested in joining a CMA Council or Committee, you can learn more here

With many of our members heading to Cannes on June 19th, I look forward to celebrating all the Cannes Lions they will bring home. The number of Canadians selected for Cannes juries is a great testament to the strength of our country’s creativity and marketing prowess.

In keeping with the award theme, work is well underway for our 2023 CMA Awards. If you’re interested in judging, this is the final week to apply. We would love to have you join your Canadian peers in judging all the terrific entries from across Canada this fall.

As always, I welcome the opportunity to meet one-to-one. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to chat. 

Warm regards,  
Alison Simpson 
President & CEO 

P.S. We’ve had a terrific response to our inaugural CMAfutureproof event, which is tomorrow afternoon and includes a fun cocktail reception afterwards. There are only a few spots left for the in-person session. You can register to attend in-person or virtually. It will be a powerful way to prepare for the future of marketing and to reconnect with peers.





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