PR and Communications Census 2018: gender pay gap figures are “inexcusable”

The PRCA has launched the PR and Communications Census 2018, which revealed that the industry gender pay gap has risen by over 3% since the last report in 2016.

The gender pay gap of the PR and communications industry is 21%, an increase of 3.2% since 2016. It is also 2.6% higher than the UK gender pay gap for all types of workplace. This is despite the fact that the industry is overwhelmingly female at 66%, a 2% increase since 2016.

The pay disparity between male and female employees is £11,364, with women earning £42,588 on average and men earning £53,952 on average.

The gender pay gap at agencies is 23.5%, 2.5% higher than the industry average. The gender pay gap across in-house teams is 15.4%, 5.6% lower than the industry average.

There has been a 7% increase in female Managing Directors since 2016.

Bibi Hilton CMPRCA, President, Women in PR and Managing Director, Golin London, said:

“It’s inexcusable that an industry which is majority female (a majority which is growing) and likes to position itself as innovative and progressive, should have a 21% gender pay gap. However, the fact that this year’s PRCA Census shows a 7% increase in female Managing Directors does seem to indicate some progress in getting more women into leadership roles in the industry – something which is vital if we are to close this pay gap.

“The fact that the gap has increased by 3.2% since the last Census in 2016 may also indicate employers are starting to take action as they hire more junior female employees to address the balance – something which initially will cause the gap to worsen while these women progress to leadership roles. However, there is more we can and must do to close the gap and ensure that these junior women remain in our industry, are rewarded effectively, and achieve leadership.

“Women in PR is calling on employers to make changes to working practices by introducing and championing flexible working, advertising all roles as open to flexible hours, running unconscious bias training and replacing the question ‘how much do you earn?’ with ‘What are your salary expectations?’ at interview. These small actions will all make a big difference.”

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said:

“The gender pay gap remains a sore subject for the industry and there is clearly a lot more we can do to improve these figures. It is disappointing that we are having this conversation in a female dominated industry, which is why we need to showcase the important work that Women in PR is doing to tackle the issue. We look forward to working with Women in PR on this vital issue and working with our members to ensure that there are more women in leadership positions and to ensure that more employers are implementing flexible working practices.”

The Census is produced in conjunction with PRWeek and global market research agency Norstat.


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