WEDNESDAY 27 AUG 2014 1:11 PM


The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) latest State of the Profession survey showed that the PR industry has a pay gap of over £12,000 in favour of men, despite women making up around two-thirds of the industry.

Last week, research into gender equality from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) suggested that women tend to fall behind in terms of pay at an age when they are likely to be starting a family. Further research conducted by the Slater & Gordon law firm found that a third of managers would rather employ a man in his 20s or 30s than a woman of the same age for fear of maternity leave. The same study showed that six in ten women felt sidelined from the moment they announced their pregnancy.

In a step towards tackling this issue, the CIPR has created a resource for PR professionals who are planning their maternity leaves and returning to work. The professional body is hoping that this tool will tackle what is one of the greatest contributors to the pay gap.

The ‘Managing Your Maternity Leave’ package, available from 1 September, includes up to 12 months payment holiday from CIPR membership, 10 guides to managing maternity leave and the return to work, and access to a private online community to promote knowledge sharing, advice and support.

Sarah Hall FCIPR, CIPR board member and owner of Sarah Hall Consulting, comments, “At present, the public relations industry loses talented women at an inexcusable rate. A key area that requires attention is the maternity leave process, which can be very challenging for all concerned. Knowing your rights as an employer and employee is vital for organisations and their best talent to be able to navigate this time successfully. This is why we have made this a priority and developed a number of guides and support mechanisms that I certainly wish I’d had access to when thinking about having a family and then when my children were born.”

The maternity package is the first in a number of initiatives that the CIPR will release over 2014 in a bid to tackle the pay gap and gender inequality. In the final quarter the CIPR will release another guide, this time for flexible working in PR, and will host a ‘hack day’ to discuss further action with industry leaders.


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