£13,800 gender pay gap exists in public relations sector

gender pay gap of more than £13,887 exists in the public relation (PR) sector, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).


Its State of the profession 2015 report found this is an increase of 12% on the £12,390 gap identified in 2014.

Of the average pay gap of £13,887 the research found that £5,404 of that can be explained by factors such as length of service, seniority, and a higher prevalence of part-time work among women.

However, when looking at differences in salary that could only be accounted for by gender, men earned £8,483 more a year than women in the same situation.

The research also highlighted that male employees in the public relations industry are paid on average £51,486. In comparison, female employees earn £43,962 a year.

The only job role where women (£21,634) earn more than men (£21,324) in the public relations sector is in entry-level roles, where women earn on average £310 more. But the gender pay gap worsens the more senior the position is.

The research found that the top seven overall impacts on salary within the PR industry include:

  1. Level of seniority.
  2. Length of service.
  3. Gender.
  4. Type of secondary education.
  5. Sector of practice.
  6. University versus non-graduate.
  7. Part-time or full-time status. 

Sarah Hall, board member and equal pay lead at the CIPR, said: “The current assumption that gender pay gaps exist predominantly as a result of women starting families, taking extended maternity leave, leaving full-time work and being more likely to work part-time, can now be declared dead.

“Not only do we have clear evidence that because of their gender alone, women are paid £8,500 less than men, we also see that gender has the third biggest possible influence on an individual’s salary in PR. This finding alone is a call for the business of public relations to take equal pay seriously.

“The solution lies not only in improving women’s negotiating skills, but more so in ensuring that pay systems and the people who operate them are capable of delivering equal pay.

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“Changing the narrative about women is also going to be key. With the PR industry operating globally, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it’s time to recognise that flexible working is for everyone. It’s about supporting staff to achieve a balance between work and home life, and about keeping pace with the way in which the world of work is changing.

“There is no short-term fix and no target to set other than delivering a long-term organisational culture change that completely eradicates this inequality once and for all. As a profession, not only do we look outdated, statistics such as these also mean that we will fail to attract the best current and future talent.”