PRCA admits it needs to improve diversity of male-dominated reading list

The PRCA has admitted it needs to do better to drive diversity in the industry after a backlash against its male-dominated recommended reading list.

Journalista founder and CEO Holly Sutton has released an alternative reading list with female authors.
Journalista founder and CEO Holly Sutton has released an alternative reading list with female authors.

Of the 41 PR and communications books the PRCA recommends for its PR Diploma, only one was written by a woman, Laura Ries, who co-authored The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR.

PR agency Journalista called out the gender bias and has released a PR reading list of female authors to amplify women’s voices in the communications industry.

"In an industry where women make up nearly two-thirds of the workforce, this list is mansplaining PR to our industry," Journalista founder and CEO Holly Sutton said.

"If the voices we’re listening to and passing on to the next generation of PR professionals are exclusively male, what message does that send about the value we place on women’s talents in our industry?"

PRCA director general Francis Ingham admitted the diploma reading list is "thoroughly unbalanced and in need of urgent and fundamental revision".

"We screwed up, and as director general of the PRCA, I take full responsibility for us doing so," Ingham said.

"We’re now going to remedy that error, do so very quickly, and make sure that it never reoccurs.

"We’ve already had about three dozen suggestions for books by female authors, and we’d ask practitioners to send us further suggestions so that we can produce a fresh list next week, and to keep on sending over suggestions so that we can keep that list fresh."

Journalista’s list features 26 female authors that cover the similar categories to the PRCA’s list, including public relations; consultancy; behaviours and performance; the media and media writing; thought leadership; ethics and strategy.

It includes Anne Gregory’s Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns and #FuturePRoof by Sarah Hall.

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