Blog post -
GLOBAL WOMEN IN PR ANNUAL INDEX SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
By Angela Oakes, Co-founder & Joint President, Global Women in PR
The GWPR Annual Index is a survey-based report measuring the position of women working in the global PR industry. This is the fourth edition of the Annual Index, which allows us to track changes and understand the issues affecting women in PR. In an industry that is two-thirds female we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality, but by shining a light on some of the issues we can begin to make the changes necessary that will benefit both business and the next generation of PR women.
So what have we discovered from this most recent survey? Has there been much change post-pandemic?
FLEXIBLE WORKING ON THE RISE WITH WIDE-RANGING BENEFITS
Unsurprisingly, the most significant change we have noted in the workplace relates to flexible working and in particular remote working.
92% of PR women are working flexibly and they anticipate this will not change in the future.
The positive benefits of flexible working are widely acknowledged by PR women, in terms of better work-life balance, juggling caring responsibilities, improved mental wellbeing and progression into leadership positions.
Employers are becoming more positive about flexible working than they were pre-Covid. Two-thirds now have positive views compared with 54% two years ago.
Remote working is the type of flexible working that has seen a massive increase, up 35% since 2020. Currently 81% of PR women work remotely.
In an industry that is two-thirds female the boardroom does not reflect this split – though the situation for PR women in agencies is better than for those working in-house.
So what initiatives can best help women progress into leadership positions?
Once again the benefit of flexible working for PR women is highlighted.
DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
Also for this Annual Index we decided to take a look at discrimination in the workplace. Worryingly we discovered that over half of PR women say they have experienced some kind of discrimination.
Gender discrimination was the top of the list, but surprisingly the second most common form of discrimination was ageism.
The issue of ageism in PR is a very real one and important to acknowledge in an industry where talent retention is a big challenge. The situation is much worse for those working in agency, rather than in-house. Only 35% of PR agency women think they will still be working in an agency when they reach 50 years of age.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work. Flexible and remote working are here to stay and employers are increasingly recognising the benefits of hybrid working. This can only benefit PR women in the long-term and help to level up the playing field.
At GWPR, we have successfully launched EMPOWER - the first ever international leadership and mentoring programme for PR women. Another initiative to encourage and support the next generation of PR women.
The GWPR Annual Index 2022 report is available to download at www.globalwpr.com
Our thanks to strategic insight agency Opinium for continuing to support GWPR.
Founded to connect, champion and support women in senior PR and Communication roles around the world, GWPR is a not-for-profit organisation driven by a desire to change the landscape for women working in our industry.