During last week’s Communication Ethics seminar at the University, we came across the question “why there are more women in the public relation industry?” Although, we did not this question in detail at the session, some ideas on this issue were raised. It appears some find it hard to believe that women actually dominate this industry. There is even names and jorgons for women in the industry – e.g. the PR girl and the PR woman.
Since today is the International Women’s Day (March 8), I find this to be a good time to examine this question and find more about it. On this note, a couple of question come into my mind. How could women hold the majority of positions in PR? What, if any, are the reasons behind it?
Ever since the beginning of this profession the gender issue is the much discussed and debated about. In many countries the majority of the public relation professionals are women. In fact, PRCA census held in 2013 found that 63% of the UK PR industry is female. However, 29% of men working in PR are directors versus 13% of women. This year’s CIPR profession report revealed that women accounting for 61% of PR jobs in the UK. The 2014 world PR report also highlight that, women hold anywhere from 61% to 85% all PR jobs and 59% of all PR managers are female. Yet, only 30% of all global PR agencies are run by women.
According to Women in PR, there are many reasons why more women in this career. One reason is women are better and natural communicators and they can multitask as well as organise tasks better than men. Secondly, women have better and more sensitive people skills. Women are able to pay attention to detail and are able to look at things in more than one perspective. Thirdly, they are more suited for a wide variety of political and administrative tasks and they have better imaginations and sensitive manners. Moreover, PR tend to be a “soft career” which suits women better.
With these interesting facts, the embarrassing truth is, in the industry, there appears to be a stark difference in pay between men and women. In fact, the recent CIPR 2017 report reveals that men earned an average salary of £58,115, which is in comparison to women who earn £45,779.
It appears that while women take the brunt of the work in the PR industry the rewards they receive for their hard work show a mismatch. Unequal pay is an example where gender bias still exists in the PR industry. The sooner this ends the better.
Hope you enjoy reading. X