The 2015 PRWeek/Bloom, Gross & Associates Salary Survey reveals the continuing discrepancy between male and female salaries in the PR industry, particularly for those with more than five years’ experience.
A trio of industry leaders discusses what can be done in the next few years to bridge the gap:
Dale Bornstein, CEO, M Booth
The best thing we can do in the next few years is to not make this a gender issue. The "win" will be to get both male and female leaders authentically engaged and working together to facilitate change – inside their organizations and within our industry. We must all foster cultures where performance is rewarded equitably and transparently and where talented practitioners feel valued for their contributions.
This is not about gender. It's about survival. As the war for talent continues to intensify across disciplines, retaining, growing, and attracting the best and brightest is critical – and women represent a large percentage of the talent pool.
We must keep this issue front and center, share data openly and often. In doing so, we will shape a compelling conversation that educates and incites leaders to act.
Roger Bolton, president, Arthur W. Page Society
To address this appalling inequity, I suggest firms draw on two of the Page Principles: Tell the Truth and Prove It with Action.
When salary information is as closely guarded a secret as it is, there is no recourse to address imbalance. One Page member company, Text100, protects the privacy of individual compensation, but has transparent salary band information. Through the performance review process, staff understands what it takes to progress. Text100 also conducts an annual external benchmark process to ensure salary levels are in line. In addition, CEO Aedhmar Hynes personally reviews salary comparisons at the level beneath her immediate management team each year to ensure no anomalies arise inadvertently.
D’Arcy Rudnay, CCO, Comcast
It’s hard for me to comprehend that this is still an issue, but it is. The only way to change this is to have the most senior women and men who lead PR advocate for fairness in compensation and make changes within their own teams. Female hires need to start at the same salary as men. Every year the most senior person in charge should take proactive steps to ensure their women receive wage adjustments (promotions as appropriate) if it becomes apparent there is a wage chasm. Less talk and more action will lead to change.