Why does public relations have a problem with gender parity?

‘New research from Liz Bridgen at Sheffield Hallam University shows that there are no easy answers to gender parity in public relations.

The numbers tell the story. Entry level roles in public relations in the UK are dominated by women. In management roles the situation is reversed.

Women account for 70 per cent of the workforce in public relations according to the Holmes Report and yet account for only 30 per cent of the top jobs.

The salary gap between the sexes has consistently been around £10,000 for the four years that the CIPR has tracked data. 

Bridgen’s analysis is based on interviews with women that left public relations shortly before or around management level. No one left the business to spend more time with their children. Instead Bridgen found deeper-seated issues.

The research found that the overriding reason for women leaving public relations was because they saw a lack of meaning in the work that they were permitted to carry out.
"Employers are failing to employ public relations as a strategic management tool…” said Hall.

Bridgen found that peers, and those outside the industry, did not take them seriously and this caused the women to suffer a lack of self-belief in their own skills.’ – The Drum


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