Why are there more women than men in the PR industry?

Having worked in the PR industry for over 10 years I can honestly say that this is a much raised and valid question.

I have noticed over the years that the male gender is something of a rare breed in PR.  Take my current employer, Connect PR, as an example: of the 17 members of staff just three of them are of the male gender.

At my previous job we had even less input from the boys with no male members in a team of nine very strong and creative women.  I’m guessing it would’ve taken a very brave man to step into the ring but I continue to question why they don’t.

Some may suggest that the skills required for a career in PR suit women but how do we explain this as a statement?  Are the clues more intrinsic to females?

Is it because women are better equipped to multi-task, or because women are more persuasive than men, or is it because there is simply something about women that makes people trust their judgments more?

As published by Inside Public Relations there are seven main reasons why there are so many women in the industry:

1.They are better, or natural, communicators
2.They multitask and organise better than men
3.PR is a soft career suited to women – as is teaching, human resources etc.
4.They have better and more sensitive “people skills”
5.They are better able to pay attention to detail and to look at things from different perspectives
6.They are better suited to a variety of practical administrative tasks
7.Women have greater imagination, intuition, and are sensitive to nuances

From a personal perspective I can understand why so many women opt for a career in public relations; I remember my idealistic view of what PR represented back in my early days.  I thought it was a glamorous, fast moving, well-paid and exciting job that actively welcomed women.  In reality the only thing really missing is the glamour.  Day to day a life in PR is filled with variety, challenges and deadlines but I can honestly say I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Having a hotline to the people who make the decisions in business, delivering exciting high profile events and counting your coverage is all in a day’s work.

I think that many women starting out in PR may well have the same stereotypical perceptions of  public relations being glamorous, well-paid, exciting and powerful, and this could be a strong force to influence women to join this industry.  So again I ask the question: why doesn’t it encourage men to take up a career in PR?

Whatever the reasons women seem to continue to flock to PR – you only have to go to a PR conference to realise how outnumbered the men really are.

Nicky Hind – Account director