PR leaders gather to discuss women in the boardroom

The CIPR’s Diversity Working Group (DWG) played host this week to its most popular Equal Access Network event to date, as senior practitioners gathered at the Guildhall, London to discuss the issue of gender equality within public relations. 

The event entitled Public Relations: Women in the Boardroom, discussed and debated reasons as to why in an industry where two thirds of practitioners are female, men are still twice as likely as women to become MDs, partners or owners of a PR firm and still earn an average £15,000 + more than their female counterparts.

Representatives from the City of London Corporation were joined by an expert panel of senior public relations practitioners including CIPR Chief Executive Jane Wilson MCIPR; Gay Collins, Executive Chair of MHP Communications; Rachael Jackson, Chief Executive of An Inspirational Journey; and Mary Whenman MCIPR, Incoming MD of Weber Shandwick’s CFPA Practice, who shared their personal experiences of rising through the ranks as women in public relations.

The debate covered several important issues including the role of head-hunters and recruiters in improving diversity within public relations, the need for flexible working hours to suit working mothers and women with other responsibilities, and the possibility of quotas to increase the number of women in the boardroom. 

Guests enjoyed further discussion and drinks following the panel debate, which was sponsored by Hanson Search, hosted by the City of London Corporation and supported London Charity, Dress for Success London, with a total of £1000 being raised to support women on low incomes get back to work. 

Jane Wilson, CIPR CEO
There's no doubt that in a growing industry such as ours more work needs to be done to ensure that the profession reflects the diverse and talented make-up of the wider UK population. We need to work together to provide practical solutions in addressing the gender pay gap and we need to ask why, in a profession that is more than two-thirds female, women are still in the minority in the most senior positions within the industry. I hope our Equal Access Network event has gone some way in helping to raise awareness around this issue.
Jane Wilson, CIPR CEO
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).