3 March 2010

Why women might never run PR?

 And why they will…

For weeks now one of my PR modules have been hosting debates about contemporary issues in public relations. Today debate concerned female input into the industry.

Statistics show that today there are more women in PR than men. They outnumber male professionals significantly becoming 2/3 of the employees in the industry. However, dig these numbers deeper and you will find that though females outnumber males 60 to 40%, there are still more men who run the business. Why?

This topic isn’t new. Most people who had contact with public relations at some point of their life had probably noticed that there are mostly women who deal with most errands in the offices, who work on presentations and who organise things. Even in my PR course there are mostly women (we have only four guys).

I must admit, before I became seriously interested in public relations, I didn’t notice this big diversion in female/male numbers in the industry. I was convinced that men dominate PR (I can blame it on my non-British origins, where in my country males are prevailing in creative industries) and only after a few people expressed their opinions about public relations (who don’t have any professional background in the field), I realised that most of them believed there are only women working in PR.

I wasn’t aware of that female domination fact because most of the time when I spotted an article about prestigious PR firm or about PR professional of the year or even when I looked through communications agencies websites I saw mostly men on top of everything. I naturally assumed that men are the dominant gender and that they are the PR gurus. Yet, I might have been wrong about that gender numbers in the business, but I was right about male being leaders in the industry.

Apparently, women run offices and errands, but they usually don’t make any significant decisions in their companies. Men do. Today’s debate gave arguments for and against women running PR and although my personal opinion about public relations run by females hasn’t changed, I must admit some of the arguments that claimed women will never become leaders were eye-opening.  

Firstly, most of us (women) are bound to be mothers at some point of our lives and we, arguably, will always choose the family over career. This will never lead us to the top.

Secondly, many women choose not to be PR directors because they want to have their private and social life, when career of a top manager requires much less family and social life.

And thirdly, although there are more women in PR industry, men will always run it because those on the top of the ladder come from different industries (mostly with business background), where men still prevail.

These were the arguments against women overtaking business of public relations. I can’t argue against them now because in fact most of what my colleagues here said was true. However, they didn’t take under consideration the fact that things are changing. And although now we (women) might not be yet prepared as well as men to run the business (and I can argue that it’s only because men made the rules that suit them better), there will be the time when PR will run out of men and then women will take over.

And as one of young mums in my class said: babies are not babies forever, they grow up.


Kelly said...

Yes, Women can do business just as well as men, if not better. :-) Currently, I run my own webhosting company and quite well if I do say so myself. LoL. We're growing every day and even though the webhosting/tech industry is generally a mans world, I'm slowly making my mark. :-)


Neta said...

Good to hear/read that:) I'm kinda new to the tech/social media world myself and I find it often overwhelming. It takes me ages sometimes to figure out things but im getting there too:) (though I know men who have even bigger problems that I have with that):P
I hope I can run a firm one day myself... :) Thanx for commenting and lifting my spirits and trust in women's abilities :) said...

I would like to purchase a license for a photo in your article. I mean licenses for commercial use. where can I do?

website hosting said...

Women can do business just as well as men, if not better. Currently, I run my own webhosting company and quite well if I do say so myself.

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