'PR & Pay Equality' report delivers action plan to tackle gender pay

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Women in PR (WIPR) have today published PR and Pay Equalitya qualitative research study revealing the barriers to pay parity and solutions to the industry's gender pay gap.

Conducted by market research company Jungle Green, the report offers a fascinating glimpse into the experiences of twenty senior female PR professionals who shared candid accounts of the issues influencing pay disparity in PR.

The report reveals the eight key reasons for the gender pay gap, along with a seven-point action plan for employers and the wider profession.

Reasons for PR's gender pay gap include:

  1. Fear and stigma - strong reluctance among women in PR to address pay inequality for fear of being negatively labelled.
  2. Lack of transparency - a perceived lack of visibility of comparative salaries in the workplace
  3. Negotiation skills - different approaches between men and women to negotiating pay
  4. Agency culture and structure - bullying and intimidation in the workplace prevents discussion about gender based differences in pay.
  5. Business sector bias - women can be typecast into certain roles within the industry.
  6. Generational differences - younger practitioners, millennials in particular, are thought to be more demanding in their salary expectations and negotiations.
  7. Unconscious bias - male leadership may perpetuate male leadership and preferment.
  8. Senior alpha females and workplace attitudes to flexible working - female employer attitudes towards family life can be less than sympathetic.

The seven point action plans includes; the development of leadership training to redress behavioural issues in men and women; the introduction of salary bandings to assist women in pay negotiation; and the fostering of internal workplace networks that include men and promote equality.

Mary Whenman MCIPR, President, Women in PR
In 2017 we simply shouldn’t need to discuss the gender pay gap. For the first time, the PR & Pay Equality report conducted with the CIPR, reveals the eight key reasons for the gender pay gap in PR and provides a useful playbook for employers and the wider industry to adopt.
Three themes emerge from the eight findings – a culture of fear, stigma and intimidation; a sense of bias towards women and senior women in the workplace; and a lack of skills to effectively manage these two issues. What’s shocking about the findings of the study is that these are the attitudes and perceptions of some of the industry’s most senior and influential female leaders. However, there is the opportunity for millennials to emerge as the generation most likely to change the status quo.
Mary Whenman MCIPR, President, Women in PR
Sarah Pinch Chart.PR, FCIPR, Managing Director, Pinch Point Communications
This research paints a stark image of an industry in which some agencies maintain an unacceptable attitude towards women. There are some shining lights of change, especially where agencies are run by women or men who have female relatives working in PR. We must work hard to shed more light across the whole profession.

We want to express our thanks to those women, who will always remain anonymous, who took part in this research. We now have insight into how we can work together to target some of these issues and make this a profession all of us would recommend to the next generation of PR practitioners.
Sarah Pinch Chart.PR, FCIPR, Managing Director, Pinch Point Communications

The report follows the results of the CIPR's State of the Profession research, which last week revealed a pay inequality gap of £5,784 in favour of men.


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).