A significant pay inequality gap has been revealed in the UK’s public relations sector with men getting paid on average, £8,483 more than women because of their gender, according to the State of the Profession report, published annually by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
The report stated: ‘A clear pay inequality gap of £8,483 exists in favour of men, and is a figure that cannot be explained by any other factor such as length of service, seniority, parenthood, or a higher prevalence of part-time work amongst women.’
Gender was identified as the third biggest influence on salary, more so than education background, sector of practice, graduate status, and full-time/part-time status.
‘To be considered at all professional, we must also tackle equal pay head on, which is an embarrassment to an industry dominated by women. 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,’ said Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015
The study, covering the trends, issues, opportunities and challenges in PR, is based on the responses of 2,000 PR professionals.
Apart from the gender pay divide, the report indicates that PR industry is also struggling with a disparity in digital skill sets expected from senior and junior professionals. According to the study, digital and social skills fail to feature in any of the top five lists of competencies sought by professionals across all sectors (in-house, consultancy etc.) looking to hire senior candidates, whereas this precise skill set is the third most in-demand for junior roles.
The findings further indicate a traditional stance to digital media with 64% of all PR professionals still looking for on traditional PR skills (written communication, interpersonal skills etc.) when hiring candidates, and a mere 20% identifying digital/technical PR skills (SEO, HTML and coding, etc.) as key competencies.
The respondents also expressed a high level of workplace stress with 51% of senior managers in PR identified as being “extremely stressed” or “very stressed” in their roles
On a slightly positive note, PRs are getting more involved with other departments within the organisation. ‘PR professionals are now working “more closely” with every single department in their organisations (marketing, sales, IT, HR etc.), than compared to two years ago,’ according to the report.
Photo Courtesy of Bernard Goldbach on Flickr