While researching some of the suggestions of what the future of public relations looks like, I can across a blog titled, “Public relations: the sex issue.” It obviously caught my eye and got me to thinking about if one gender does dominate in the public relations world? I do not think the answer has been discovered yet, and I don’t necessarily think that at the time that their is a dominating force. In the blog written by Stephen Waddington, there are quotes from numerous sources swaying one way or the other on the “issue.” Waddington did his own research is asking the CIPR group on LinkedIn to contribute to his question of gender bias in public relations.
The first conclusion drawn by analysts was that public relations is often hard to separate from other marketing functions. Some marketing functions, such as design have a high male percentage, versus other aspects of the marketing profession. Another conclusion made was that women often enter the field of public relations with a college degree in the realm of PR, whereas men often join into the PR world after being in the business world for a while. It is also true that men often hold the more dominate positions in the industry. In my opinion, I think that these last few facts are based on characteristics of leadership in each gender. Women would often be better managers, but are often seen as “push-overs.” Men have always been seen as a dominate force, but honestly do they do a better job?
For some reason, it has always been seen that men do a better job than women in public relations, and the salary gap proves it. In a PRSA blog titled, “State of Gender Diversity in Public Relations: The Salary Gap Widens,” it is noted by the White House that “women still only earn about 75 percent of what men earn on the job.” This has been the case for several years dating back to the 1970s. Why is it still true today? Is there clear discrimination presented here, or are men really better at their professions than women?
One of the three conclusions made in this blog is related to Waddington’s blog: “the percentage of women practitioners in public relations is increasing, not decreasing. This means that, as more women enter public relations, with their lower annual earnings, the average incomes for the profession as a whole will decrease.” The public relations world is working toward a more women-dominate structure, but on the basis of wage or salary, this male-dominate world that we live in overrules.
So what is the gender of public relations and where will we be in 10 years? This seems to be the lingering question.