Although women make up 66% of the UK PR and Communications industry, men earn on average 21% more, resulting in an £11,364 pay gap.

With a pay disparity higher than the UK average, it’s time for genuine change to the PR and Communications industry.

Campaigns such as International Women’s Day provide an annual opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and to call for the acceleration of gender parity.

However, this isn’t enough.

Although the UK has seen a 7% increase in female PR Managing Directors since 2016, women still struggle to be appointed for senior leadership roles.

But why is gender diversity so important?

Most agencies admitted that they haven’t dedicated enough resources to build an inclusive and safe workplace culture and, with more than half of UK women affected by sexual harassment in the workplace, this is alarming.

Fostering a climate of mutual respect and equal opportunities leads to a more productive workplace and only adds to the diversity of thought.

Studies also show that companies in the top quarter for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.

But how can the industry become more diverse?

Diversity requires an understanding and respect for individual differences.

With a lack of consensus over the meaning of diversity and inclusion, it’s time for the industry to make effort for a better understanding and meaningful change.

Hiring for diversity alone isn’t sustainable.  Agencies need to take a holistic approach to creating an inclusive workplace where individuals feel welcome and happy to be themselves and share their thoughts and ideas.

It’s time for senior leaders and boards to push for change and articulate a diversity strategy and develop a long-term goal.  Simply opening a dialogue among colleagues is a great place to start.

As a female-lead PR agency, we have a wealth of experience championing female voices in male dominated industries.  Let’s break down the barriers of entry and celebrate a more inclusive public square.

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