It’s no secret that women are the driving force when it comes to the global PR industry. After all, two-thirds of PR professionals on the planet are women.
Yet, their male colleagues are the ones who sit in the comfy chairs and discuss corporate matters behind closed doors. Moreover, statistics show that women in other fields are also facing a pronounced gender bias. For instance, the role of women in the tech industry often boils down to running the HR sector, not being a part of the executive team.
So, is there more than meets the eye when it comes to the world of PR? Is it time to end the gender gap now that we are entering a new decade? Let’s find out.
The Position of Women in the PR Industry
According to relevant surveys, as much as 75-80 percent of employees in the advertising world are women. In other words, women are dominating the PR industry in terms of numbers. One of the stereotypical explanations for such an imbalance is the well-known “pretty face” concept. In other words, the theory argues that good-looking women have a more profound effect on the audience.
Leaving these bigoted concepts aside, it’s easy to see that the jobs in the PR industry are suited for remote work. As such, these positions are ideal for women who are trying to achieve the holy grail of work/life balance. After all, women are still being scrutinized for having a family or kids while trying to build a career at the same time.
Even though more than two-thirds of PR professionals in the world are women, their representation at the leadership level is shocking. Here is why.
Women in Senior Positions in the PR World
Studies show that businesses with female-dominated management are 21% more likely to perform better than the national average. If women are involved in the decision-making process, companies can expect higher margins and increased profits.
Nonetheless, only 30 percent of C-suits in the PR industry feature a woman. In translation, women are occupying one in five senior positions in the world of media relations and publicity.
Do you still think that our society offers equal opportunities to both genders?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the process of climbing the corporate ladder is much more difficult when you are wearing heels. Although women are dominating the total number of workers in the field, the industry is male-dominated, no doubt about it.
Statistics show that as many as 78 percent of CEOs in the PR industry are men. Women seldom have a chance to be heard, and their voices are often ignored or outnumbered.
For instance, the pay gap in the advertising industry can paint a clear picture of the situation in the modern world. In the United States, an average female PR professional will earn around $55.200 per year. On the other hand, an average male PR specialist in the US earns approximately $61.200 yearly.
But the disparity is way more profound than those 5 or 6 thousand dollars. In other words, it’s not about money. It’s about leveling the playing field and offering women the chance to take up leadership positions without being diminished.
How Can Women Fight for Gender Balance and Equality?
As we can see, the representation of women at the highest levels in the PR sector is not good enough. So, what are the steps that women need to take to improve their position and achieve workplace equality?
Well, it seems that the importance of impactful campaigns should not be underestimated. Just look at the side-effects of the #MeToo campaign and you’ll understand what we mean. Women in the media industry are still lacking role models, and mentorship is a crucial aspect of changing one’s mindset. After all, women in the PR industry need to understand that equality is a necessity, not a luxury.
Likewise, it is essential to collaborate on these issues on a large scale. For instance, female influencers should use their PR skills to spread the word about gender bias at the executive levels as much as possible. By doing so, women can step up to the cause and leave a better world for the next generation.
The position of women in the modern world is changing for the better. However, there is a lot more than can be done. We should all strive for perfection, and workplace balance can benefit the entire society. For that reason, pay attention to the problems your female colleagues are facing. If we manage to create a listening culture, we will have a better understanding of the issue of gender inequality.