CIPR tackles gender issues in PR head-on with a four-point plan

On Tuesday 10 March, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Board held an ‘away day’ to decide the strategic priorities for the year ahead.

The gender pay gap has been agreed as an area demanding urgent attention following the 2015 CIPR State of the Profession report, which highlighted the fact that in public relations, men are on average paid £8,483 more than women, as a result of their gender alone.

As an immediate output, the Institute has published a four-point manifesto (see below) on the work it intends to carry out, with the intention of enabling the PR industry to narrow the gender pay gap with immediate and future action.

Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015
The CIPR Board is determined to work on issues that our members have raised as important. At our away day on Tuesday 10 March, we discussed and debated providing support for members in four key areas: professionalism, skills and education, the changing landscape of PR and the gender pay gap.

I am proud that the CIPR has been leading the way with our work on the gender pay gap. We will continue that work this year and I am looking forward to meeting members and industry leaders at our round table discussions in April.
Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015
Sarah Hall FCIPR, CIPR Board member lead for gender and diversity
As an industry in which over two-thirds of practitioners are women, we can no longer ignore the gender pay gap issue. Engagement around the State of the Profession survey has clearly shown that both members and non-members will no longer accept the status quo and they are looking to us to provide strong leadership.

The call to action has been accepted. Our ambition is a bold one – we want PR to become an exemplar for other sectors. However, equal opportunities will only come with organisational change. We will provide the guidance – the gauntlet is then thrown down to members, and the wider profession, to make this much needed change happen.
Sarah Hall FCIPR, CIPR Board member lead for gender and diversity

‘Narrowing the gender pay gap – our manifesto’

Supporting organisations in the drive to achieve gender pay parity

  • We will identify how PR organisations (in-house and consultancy) are currently determining pay and develop a set of best practice guidelines to help them develop excellence in pay system management.
  • We will continue our ongoing work into the development of a competency framework for PR.
  • We will share guidance reminding members of their employer responsibilities in terms of current and forthcoming legislation and the CIPR’s Code of Conduct.
  • We understand SMEs face challenges when members of the team take maternity leave. As a result, we will help signpost to skilled talent as and when short-term, affordable support is required.

Maintaining our thought leader position on the gender pay gap

  • We will host issues-based round tables throughout the year as a platform for open discussion and debate.

    In April 2015 we will be hosting two round table events to discuss and promote the issues preventing equal opportunities in the workplace.

    On Wednesday 8 April the topic will be ‘Changing the narrative around women’ and on Thursday 9 April the subject will be ‘Pay structures and transparency’.
  • We will continue to provide sector-leading data and insight through qualitative and quantitative research to provoke debate.
  • We will celebrate best practice and share experiences by maintaining a regular stream of case studies and blogs from managers, directors and employers who are leading the way with their workforce recruitment and retention policies.
  • We will commit to highlighting the negative commercial impact that comes with not offering equal pay rewards and communicate how agile working can provide a workable solution to PR’s ‘always on’ culture.
  • We will work alongside other external and internal stakeholders to advocate best practice, signing up to initiatives including the ‘Families and Work’ manifesto, consistently encouraging our members to follow suit.

Supporting individual practitioners

  • We will continue to evolve and update our existing best practice guides in relation to maternity leave, return-to-work period and agile working.
  • We will signpost to relevant third party organisations and training parties to help female practitioners secure the same Board experience as their male counterparts and to allow them to develop stronger negotiation skills.
  • We will continue to support members through their maternity/paternity leave and return-to-work by providing a unique package of member benefits aimed at supporting their professional and personal development.

Lobbying and representing our views to government

  • We will directly lobby the new UK Government to tackle to gender pay and inequality by looking at the opportunities to strengthen the Equal Pay act, ensuring its universal application.
  • We will support existing initiatives, such as “Think, Act, Report”, and other steps around flexible work and returning to work.
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).

Comments 1 - 3 (3)
Thank you for your message.
Andrea Stewart, Head of Advocacy
Excellent initiative, I look forward to supporting this manifesto and hopefully experiencing some re-balancing results first hand. Best of luck preparing for the round tables.
Anne Mancey
Having been in PR for almost 30 years I am shocked that this gender inequality still exists.
Nicola Rossi
Great to see the CIPR finally tackling an archaic situation which directly impacts many female members and their dependents. You might find it useful to quote the stats we have got from KPMG on the costs of losing women from the workforce following maternity leave (very high) compared with the costs of retaining them (much lower in the medium term). Top line figures are here