Where are all of the Male PR Professionals? April 4, 2012
I recently read an article on Ragan’s PR Daily.com that referred to public relations as being a ‘pink ghetto’ because of its prevalence of female workers. According to a study conducted by Ragan.com, the percentage of women in the industry is as high as 85 percent. In addition, Ragan.com reported that 73 percent of the 21,000 members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) are female.
As a man and a PR professional, I see this gender population difference first-hand at Open Channels Group and at PR conferences and events that I attend, and have always wondered why I don’t see that many men working in PR. I believe that some men might not look at the PR field as an option because they might be focused on working in industries that men have traditionally gone into such as management, banking, technology, construction, and government.
PR Daily.com held a focus group last month with 15 male and female students attending the University of Illinois to get their viewpoint on why men do or don’t choose to study public relations and some of the comments include:
“There are more jobs in fields tailored to women more than men. I’d like to do sports PR. Women have more choices within the field.”—Alex (male)
“Men seem to avoid confrontation, and PR is very confrontational. You can’t be afraid to start fights or dive into a fight.”—Janelle (female)
“Women are more social.”—Hannah (female)
“The writing part doesn’t excite me as much as meeting objectives and pretty much everything else aside from writing. I mean once you get in the upper levels. It’s about manipulation, strategy, and gamesmanship. To get in is hard, and then I have to work my way up.”—Alex (male)
As it turns out, while the percentage of women in PR is high, 80 percent of PR professionals in upper management are male, according to Ragan.com and men in PR seem to earn more money than women overtime.
I personally do not have a problem working with mostly women, but I do sometimes wish I wasn’t outnumbered. At the end of the day, I work in an industry that I enjoy and have a passion for. I also get to work with really great co-workers and leaders. That’s all you can really ask for.
Why do you think there are fewer men in the PR industry? Comment below and give me your thoughts!