A crackling debate about women in PR broke a buzz of discussion among the entire class. And most importantly, it got me thinking why aren’t there enough women on the top positions in the PR sector? The debate picked up two important ‘so-called’ weaknesses that pull women back from ruling the roost.
1) Their first priority is their family. They do not opt for demanding job profiles lest they would neglect their families.
2) Women are not practical enough and do not have a business bent of mind. After all, it is all about running a successful business and making profits.
But there were some very strong points thrown by the opposition that women are known for multi-tasking and there are so many influential women who have been successful in striking a balance between home and work. For Eg: Indira Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo is a role model for many Indian women.
Since I have a soft corner for my species, I would say that women till date have not been given enough opportunities to show what they have and now that the stereotypes are slowly crumbling, women are gradually making their way up the ladder. Women are smarter, more efficient and more competent in delivering multiple duties at the same time.
According to an article in PR Week 2002, a survey conducted among 200 female respondents from the PR industry shattered many a myth about them. More than 50 per cent of the women surveyed were graduates – a further ten per cent having a post-grad qualification. Of those who were married or co-habiting, 47 per cent were the main breadwinners for their family; which means that they are well qualified and competent enough to shoulder any responsibility provided they are given a fair chance to prove their worth.
Though, the survey results clarified that women in PR are not very apprehensive about sexual discrimination or male dominance over managerial roles. Rather pressure from the family and the upcoming younger talent who are eager to put in extra hours is what intimidates them.
Signs of change showed up even a decade ago. Biss and Co. Chairperson Mrs. Biss entered the industry in 1978 who has witnessed more female MD’s as her boss says that the industry welcomes anybody who is talented and upfront – regardless of gender.
A survey conducted by the CIPR reveals that increasing number of women enrol for PR degrees and courses across the world and more and more women are entering the PR sphere. This trend does barge into the male dominance and allows more room for diversity, deeper understanding of the profession from different perspectives, fertile dialogues between the company and its publics and expansion of market shares. Women have the charm and elegance which is just the right quality for this profession.
Women are a great work force with a deep understanding and endurance and bringing them into any work space will introduce a balance, growth and acceptance of innovation in a fundamentally ‘male supremacy’ environment.
PR Week on Diversity: http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/search/487418//
Indira Nooyi on the women power: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prM0jRIxC2I