The public relations industry is dominated by women. In 1970, according to Ragan’s PR Daily, women comprised only 27 per cent of the US public relations workforce. Today, close to three-quarters of the members of the Public Relations Society of America are female; in the UK, about 64 per cent of those employed in PR are female.
Also, women in the US with bachelor’s degrees in journalism or mass communication disproportionately specialise in advertising and PR, which have more opportunities for full-time employment than other parts of the industry.
But unlike many fields where women dominate at entry level and in the junior ranks but are noticeably absent at the managerial and principal levels, in PR they are increasingly seen in managerial roles.
When the UK government announced its austerity measures, critics warned that they would affect women disproportionately. The latest unemployment figures, released last week, show that those fears may well be justified, as the number of women out of work has reached 1.05m – the highest level in 23 years. In the past three months, more women than men have been made redundant.
The US Department of Commerce has released new data on the gender gap in science and technology and its economic impact on women.
Most days this blog is about women at the top of their careers − chief executives, other C-suiters and the challenges they faced as they climbed up the corporate ladder. Today, however, I would like to focus on an extraordinary organisation that helps women at the bottom of the ladder.
In Virginia Woolf’s famous essay of 1929, the author argued that a women needed financial independence and “a room of her own” to be able to write (as well as men, was the inference).
The line now is that women need flexibility to be able to participate fully in the employment market, which explains why more and more women are now choosing to work from home.
For women who have put their careers on hold to have a baby, spend more time with their children or care for ageing parents, returning to the workforce presents serious challenges.
In an effort to retain more of their women employees, many companies implement work/life balance policies such as flexible working hours, childcare facilities at the office, and options for telecommuting.
Research from the Institute of Leadership & Management and Ashridge Business School published on Thursday reveals that recent UK graduates are looking to move on from their current jobs in record numbers.
Workplace flexibility – also known as flexitime – is seen as key to helping companies recruit and retain working mothers. But flexitime is also often code for the “mummy track”, a professional path that offers mothers certain benefits, yet provides fewer opportunities for advancement.
“The power of progress is fundamental to human nature, but few managers understand it or know how to use it to boost motivation.”