CIPR condemns Kevin Roberts' gender diversity comments as "grossly inaccurate"

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) disputed the basis of comments made by Saatchi and Saatchi Chairman, Kevin Roberts regarding the lack of senior women in leadership roles. 

In an interview with Business Insider, Mr Roberts denied that the lack of women in leadership roles was a problem in the advertising industry and said the debate about gender bias was “all over”. He has since been placed on leave by parent company, Publicis.

Rob Brown FCIPR, CIPR President, Managing Partner of Rule 5
Kevin Roberts' refusal to acknowledge the lack of women in senior roles as an issue illustrates the magnitude of the task facing those of us striving for gender parity. The issues facing women working in advertising and PR are reflected across multiple sectors. 

His grossly inaccurate remarks are a reminder of the naive attitudes towards gender diversity which still exist in our industry. 

I'm proud that the CIPR has played a leading role in spotlighting the pressing issues around gender pay and seniority in our industry. Over the coming months, we'll be working jointly with Women in PR (WPR) to conduct interviews with senior women, exploring the challenges they faced throughout their career, with a view to sharing the learning outcomes with members and employers. 
Rob Brown FCIPR, CIPR President, Managing Partner of Rule 5

The CIPR's 2015/16 State of the Profession research revealed women make up 73% and 70% non-manager and manager roles. This decreases for ‘Head of Comms / Associate Directors’ to 60%, and at ‘Director / Partner / MD / Owners’ level to 48%. 

The research also revealed pay inequality manifests most apparently at senior levels and is particularly acute for those working in consultancies. 

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).