Women in Public Relations in North America Research Study Investigates Workplace Gender Bias Long-Term Effects
We have produced a research study with the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), aimed at analyzing the position of women in North America’s public relations industry (Canada and the United States).
The research report aimed to establish whether organizational culture and the socialization process influenced women’s ability to progress in their careers. The research project examined three pre-determined groupings, synonymous with other EUPRERA projects across Croatia and England.
The North American report examined the lived experiences of women in public relations; the office culture such as networking, interaction at work, and dress codes; and the socialization, leadership, and ability to see other senior women as role models.
We are creating opportunities to position women at the top of the PR field.
While PR attracts more than its fair share of female talent, there are still too few women at the top of our field as agency heads or chief communications officers.
- Women still make up less than half of the executive committee roles at most large PR firms and only four women lead agencies with more than $100 million in global revenue in North America.
- Women dominate the mid-level PR ranks, doing much of the day-to-day heavy lifting, and women are more often in command at smaller-size agencies that they have founded.
We are creating opportunities for women to speak at events.
Through our initial research and key conversations with women in public relations, we have identified a few common themes:
- Lack of speaking opportunities for women in PR at workshops and conferences; panel sessions are male dominated.
- Lack of recognition for achievements in the PR field and;
- Lack of opportunities for advancement within larger organizations.
We are creating opportunities for women in PR to get a seat at the boardroom table and identifying the gender pay gap in our field.
The very first international Gender Pay Gap and Work Life Balance Survey, from ICCO sector group GWPR (Global Women in Public Relations), has revealed there is a Global Gender Pay Gap of $21,174 CDN ($15,824.52 US Dollars) in the PR industry.
In addition the survey reveals that men (36%) are more that twice as likely as women (16%) to reach the agency boardroom; that women have real confidence issues about asking for a promotion or pay rise and that balancing child care and work commitments is challenging for both parents (73%), but especially women (78%).
We are discussing PR work life balance and how to navigate a woman’s career in business.
We are discussing something that affects all of us, regardless of industry – how to navigate a woman’s career in business.
Our discussion is based on the Harvard Business Review report: “The Hidden Brain Drain: Off-Ramps and On-Ramps in Women’s Careers.”
In public relations, there is a trend of women starting their own consultancies to manage career and family obligations and enjoy a more flexible lifestyle.
There are legions of professional women who step off the career fast track at least once to raise children, care for elderly parents, or manage other demands.
But when they’re ready to step back on track – just a short time later – they hit a wall. On-ramps are few and far between, and the financial penalties for taking a “time out” are punishing.
The result? Many women are lost on re-entry, and companies are missing the chance to leverage this talent pool.
There are too many talented women leaving their careers for a change, or languishing on the sidelines.
Learn about MEMBERSHIP
Together, our organizations American Women in Public Relations™ (Women in PR USA®) and Canadian Women in Public Relations (Women in PR Canada) work to enable groups of public relations women leaders across the Americas to come together to share ideas, contacts, experiences, and to advocate for major issues directly affecting women working in the PR industry today.
Membership is open to individuals and firms who work in the field of public relations and is also extended to both women and men working in communications, media, marketing, and advertising.