Following results of the Women in Public Affairs survey last year, Women in Public Affairs have launched a new industry pledge to raise industry standards and support the progression of women in the industry.
The pledge, backed by the PRCA, calls on businesses to publish salary bands for roles; commit to neither putting on, nor appear, on all male panels; and establish a sexual harassment policy and clear point of contact.
The Women in PA survey published in October 2019 found that 1 in 4 (27%) women in the sector say they have experienced sexual harassment at work and that nearly two-thirds (60%) of women feel their company is not transparent about progression and pay.
When asked about barriers in the industry and what needed to change, many women described a “laddish” culture or a persisting “old boy’s network”. There were also calls for “more profile to female leaders as role models” and “women to be taken as seriously as men” as well as changes to ways of working.
Laura Sainsbury, Chair of Women in Public Affairs said:
“The new industry pledge aims to raise industry standards and address the issues raised in our survey. We understand that some companies will unable to sign up to the individual elements of the pledge due to a range of factors but hope that as many businesses as positive can help support us to drive positive behaviour and shine a line on best practise across the industry.
“We will review the pledge and business uptake in 6 months and will continue to work with senior leaders to drive women empowerment in the workplace.”
To inform the pledge WiPA held roundtables with senior leaders to co-develop a clear action plan. The pledge follows guidance published by the UK Government in August 2018 which recommended that employers should clearly communicate the salary on offer to encourage women to negotiate their salary and introduce transparency to promotion, pay and reward processes to reduce pay inequalities.