WEDNESDAY 25 FEB 2015 10:24 AM

STATE OF THE PROFESSION REPORT REVEALS EXTENT OF PAY GAP IN PR

The CIPR’s State of the Profession 2015 report includes an in-depth study of the gender balance and equal pay issues that affect the PR industry. Rather than identifying a mean pay gap the survey reveals a clear pay inequality gap of £8483 in favour of men. This doesn’t take into account factors such as length of service, seniority, parenthood or higher prevalence of part-time work among women.

Gender is identified as the third biggest influence on salary above educational background, sector of practice, graduate status or full-time/part-time status and behind only level of seniority and number of years in public relations.

Sarah Pinch, founder at Pinch Point Communications and CIPR President 2015, comments on these findings, “To be considered at all professional, we must tackle equal pay head on, it is an embarrassment to an industry dominated by women.”

Also new to the 2015 report, which surveys over 2000 PR professionals, is an analysis of the educational background of PR practitioners, as well as their happiness and wellbeing. The report shows that 51% of senior managers in PR identify as ‘extremely’ or ‘very stressed’ in their roles. However, 63% of PR professionals enjoy their jobs, and only 10% overtly disliking them. Those over the age of 45 are almost 20% more likely to enjoy their jobs than those younger than them.

Other key trends include the professionalisation of the industry and inter-departmental convergence. PR professionals reported working more closely with other departments in their organisation than previously and this provides opportunity for a broader skill set.

Digital and social skills are not rated highly as a requirement for senior hires, whether for in-house or consultancies, whereas this skillset is highly in demand when hiring for junior roles. Overall, PR professionals rate traditional PR skills, such as written communication and interpersonal skills, far higher than digital and technical PR skills; a possible contributing factor to the current skills gap.

Pinch says, “Fulfilling our own professional ambitions will be no easy task, so we must consider these findings as a call to action. I have confidence that we will use this insight to deliver a better, stronger, fairer and more confident profession.”

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