PR Moment: Are men more career-focused to get ahead?

When it comes to power, more men rule. According to the CIPR’s last State of the PR Profession Report, women make up 65 per cent of the industry, yet men are almost twice as likely to be earning a salary in excess of £50,000. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that women are getting a raw deal in PR.

They might not take up stressful senior positions because they have better ways to spend their time. But if women do aim for the top, then it’s a matter of being focused, and ideally, starting early.

So if women fail to get to the top in PR, this could be because either they don’t want to, or because they are treading the wrong career path. David Alexander, director at agency Calacus Public Relations, is convinced that women get a fair deal in PR. He has worked at PR firms Weber Shandwick, Hill and Knowlton and Porter Novelli, two of which have female managing directors who, he says, “were appointed because of their talent and not for any other reason.”

Alexander adds: “Hill and Knowlton and Porter Novelli were both female-orientated with men firmly in the minority – I think because women are often a lot more methodical with the systems and processes of PR than men, and also because they are better suited to many of the consumer products they have to promote because they are the target audience.”

Although Alexander admits it’s more of an even split of the sexes in corporate PR, he concludes: “Women do more than hold their own.”

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