by Angeles Moreno
Madrid, 8th March 2019 – This week a colleague asked me: “Why do we still have a Worker women’s day if we already have a Worker’s day? Isn’t it discriminatory on itself?”
Well, I said, as you know there isn’t ‘the richest people day’ or ‘the healthiest people day.’ On the contrary there is a world day of hunger or a world day of rare diseases… because these commemorative dates serve as basis for claiming unrealized rights. And this is the issue I would like to discuss today.
Why should we still talk about women rights in the public relations and communication management fields?
Women entered the profession rapidly in the last decades of the twentieth century (Andsager & Hurst, 2005; Grunig, Hon & Toth, 2013) reforming the profession into a field with a majority of female practitioners. Women are not then a minority in our filed, yet although they surpass men in number, still face gender inequality (Place, 2011; Tench, Topic & Moreno, 2018). This is of some concern; because it means that we have majority of workers in the industry facing discrimination.
Recently the study Gendercom, organized by Dircom in cooperation with EUPRERA and the support of the Ministry of Labour, Migrations and Social Security of Spain, have brought to light the gender issues in the communication industry in our country. An online survey for The State of Communication in Spain was conducted. Responses from 387 participants were analysed along with some additional questions from 154 respondents of the ECM 2018 (Zerfass, Tench, Verhoeven, Verčič & Moreno, 2018).
The Gendercom study concludes seven key findings:
- Majoritarian access of women are met with challenges of a feminized profession.
- Crystal ceiling remains. Although the number of women surpasses men, their presence dismisses in the highest positions and prevails in the lower. In contrast, seven of ten men hold managerial positions.
- Salary gap remains, especially in higher managerial positions. Only 11.7% of female CCO’s earn more than 100.000 €, besides more than double of men, 27%, are in the salary range.
- Salary gap is an important factor of work dissatisfaction for female practitioners. 95.8% of women unsatisfied with their work report an inadequate salary.
- Work life conflict affects mainly female practitioners with family responsibilities. Less stressed women are the group who enjoy more leisure time and doesn’t have family dependents. 85,7% of women with less leisure time, have dependents.
- Female practitioners with family dependents show lower levels of work satisfaction. Most men with family dependents are satisfied at work (64%) and most women with dependents are not (69,2%).
- Female practitioners with family dependents show higher levels of stress. More stressed women are who have family dependents (59,1%). 75% of women with family dependents spend at least from 2 to 6 hours per week working non-paid in their home.
The question is whether these conclusions are only applicable to Spain today? Many studies over the world have proved the feminization of the profession (i.e. Yeomans, 2010; Place, 2011) the ceiling glass (i.e. Tench et al., 2017) the salary gap (i.e. Zerfass et al., 2018; Moreno, Tench, Fuentes & Khalil, 2019) and the conflict work-life (Shen & Jian, 2013; Place & Vanderman-Winter, 2017). Further studies are in depth on related factors for these current problems.
One of the main problems for gender issues is the denial fallacy. There are still many male and female practitioners that deny gender gaps in the communication management field. Resources and research to evidence the fact is we hold the key in our hands. Let’s keep the discussion going until a future 8th March in which gender inequalities don’t have any place.
Andsager, J. L. & Hust, S. J. T. (2005). Differential gender orientation in public relations: Implications for career choices, Public Relations Review, 31, pp. 85–91.
Grunig, L. A., Hon, L. C., & Toth, E. L. (2013). Women in public relations: How gender influences practice. New Jersey: Routledge.
Moreno, Á., Tench, R., Khalil, N. (2019). Enemy at the (house) gates: A study about the permanence of gender discrimination in public relations career promotion in Latin America. For publication.
Place, K. R. (2011). Power and gender at the crossroads: A qualitative examination of the nexus of power and gender in public relations, PRism, 8(1), pp. 1-13.
Place, K.R., & Vanderman-Winter, J. (2017). Where are the women? An examination of research on women and leadership in public relations, Public Relations Review, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.10.005
Shen, H., Jiang, H., Jin, Y. & B. L., Sha (2015). Practitioners’ work-life conflict: A PRSA survey. Public Relations Review 41(4), 415-421.
Tench, R., Topić, M., & Moreno, A. (2017). Male and female communication, leadership styles and the position of women in public relations. Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, 8(2-3), 231-248.
Zerfass, A., Tench, R., Verhoeven, P., Verčič, D., & Moreno, A. (2018). European Communication Monitor 2018. Strategic communication and the challenges of fake news, trust, leadership, work stress and job satisfaction. Results of a survey in 48 Countries. Brussels: EACD/EUPRERA, Quadriga Media Berlin.