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Women in PR research finds there’s still a lot of work to do on closing the gender pay gap but flexible working is improving

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Women in PR 2017 Survey Results

New research from Women in PR, the independent networking organisation for senior women working in the PR industry, undertaken by OnePoll, reveals that 50 per cent of respondents believe there has been no improvement in closing the gender pay gap in the PR industry in the last year. Additionally, more than a third (35 per cent) think there has been no improvement in the gender pay equality in their organisation in the last year.

However, the good news is the industry is expecting things to change when organisations publish their gender pay figures by April 2018. 80 per cent of those surveyed agree that the decision by the PRCA to include gender pay gap reporting in the Communications Management Standard (CMS), will help close the gender pay gap; and 84 per cent agree that gender pay reporting will have a positive impact on closing the gender pay gap in the PR industry.

The Women in PR survey also asked members about their attitudes towards flexible working. More than half (52 per cent) of respondents work flexibly, with half of those working from home one or more day per week and a quarter working part-time.

A lack of flexible working was seen as one of the biggest barriers to attracting talent back into the PR industry after a career-break; and 89 per cent of respondents think more talent would return to the industry if there was more flexible working available.

Despite the growth in public relations degrees, only 11 per cent of respondents agree that having a PR degree is vital to a career in PR. A significant 89 per cent agree that employers in the industry should be more open to hiring people without a degree, sending a positive message about the future of PR apprenticeships.

Mary Whenman, President of Women in PR, said: “While it is disappointing that a significant proportion of senior women working in the UK PR industry do not think there has been an improvement in gender pay equality over the past year, it is heartening that the majority believe gender pay reporting will have a positive impact on closing the gender pay gap.”

Whenman continues: “The results of our survey are clear, women working in PR in the UK want equal pay, flexible working and to embrace a more diverse range of non-university educated entrants coming into our industry. It has long been proved by McKinsey and other studies, that gender diversity is a corporate performance driver and that diverse teams make better business decisions.”

Click here for the full results infographic