Results from the Global Women in PR Annual Index for 2020 reflect a lack of advancement when it comes to gender equality in the public relations industry, but highlight areas of opportunity for women with children.
Part of a five-year plan to measure and track the working practices of women in PR and communications across the globe, latest results from the GWPR Annual Index cover working environment, barriers to leadership, the pressures of work, impacts of being a parent and the continuing gender pay gap.
Despite two-thirds of the PR workforce identifying as female, men still held 64% of boardroom seats in 2020. Key findings in the index include:
– 80% of PRs believe that having women in the boardroom improves working practices, with 89% believing that more needs to be done to welcome women into board-level roles.
– 78% cited childcare and caring responsibilities as the biggest barrier to the boardroom
– 60% believe men promoting in their own image is a major barrier to senior roles
– 47% of women reported a negative impact on their career due to being a parent
Despite longer working hours for women in PR who are also tasked with homeschooling during the pandemic, the ability to work remotely is seen by many who took part in the Annual Index as a path to future advancement.
GWPR joint president Angela Oakes said: ‘We can see from our research that there has been little change in 2020 in the gender imbalance in the boardroom, despite the widely acknowledged link between boardroom diversity and a company’s financial performance.
‘However, the COVID crisis has created change and quickly accelerated the trend towards remote working. Two-thirds of PR professionals believe that flexible working allows women to have a family, or caring responsibilities and still progress in their career. There is clearly a demand for this, as 69% say they would be more likely to choose a job that offered flexible working over one that did not. Employers need to recognise this and acknowledge the benefits of flexible working, so we can retain female talent in the PR industry.’
PRCA Director General Francis Ingham also sees the positives that have come from homeworking: ‘COVID can provide us with a reset moment for women in PR. It can replace the painfully slow progress of the past decade with true transformation through flexible working. And when we get through this period of crisis, it will be one of the positive changes that will last.’
Read the full results from the GWPR Annual Index on the website.