Will Women Run PR

After the heated debate in class, I found it very interesting to look into the topic: PR being feminizasid but fewer women can actually run the industry.

According to Women in Public Relations : How Gender Influences Practice by Larissa A. Grunig, and Linda Childers Hon, there are already explanations in print on why women have been welcomed into public relations. Donato (1990) provided seven reasons: the sex-specific demand for women, women as a "better buy", new publics, female-intensive industries, affirmative action, gender ideology and women's attraction to public relations.

My opinion is biologically, women being naturally good at communication is the advantage to PR industry. But it does not necessarily mean women can or will run PR.

The matter of "can"
With more social development, although it's still physically challenging (long working hours, great pressure), nowadays women has little obstacle for can or can not run the industry. Actually, those few female leaders in PR industries all have excellent performances in career.

The matter of "will"
However, not all women are willing to sacrifice so much for work. Compared to the unfixed and long working hours, constant pressure in PR industry, more and more women choose to return to family.

The Reality
If you are young, it is perfect to have some experience in the industry, tough but rewarding. However, as the age increases, pressure from family life and the glass ceiling in work environment push women away from the role of managing the business in PR. In my past experience, for all the agencies I used to work for in Shanghai, the only department where you get to see more middle-aged women is the finance department. On the contrary, the Creative department are mostly for young boys, Account department are mostly for young girls, and they keep coming and going, in contrast with the relatively steady middle level management.

For those ladies who choose to stay, quite frankly, there are sacrifices in life that can be felt whether they want to hide it or not.

And then the problem comes to personal values. I'm not saying that those women who believe they can find balance between work and life in PR are over confident. It's just a bit unrealistic to be present everywhere when you have 3 client meetings in a day and your son's football match in the afternoon ( Don't even think about video meeting, in the era of high technology we all live, clients are quite often and unsurprisingly old school to insist on your presence; Or, watch the Oscar Nominee film: Up in the Air). Imagine this day is a typical day in your life, it's obvious you'll have to come to a choice decision at some point in your career path. And it's not about sexual discrimination, I believe women are born with the nature of the strong willingness and talents for taking care of the family. It's biological differences, not discrimination.

So women running PR is not a problem of "whether you can", it's a matter about" whether you will". Usually women end up choosing to live the life with their families instead of their work, and there is nothing wrong about it.

Let's be frank, Samantha from Sex and the City, the perfect stereotype for successful women in PR, even as a fictional character, she doesn't even have a stable relationship.

Women in Public Relations : How Gender Influences Practice

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