PRCA revises reading list to include 60 per cent female authors

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has overhauled its recommended reading list to improve the gender diversity of authors, following a backlash.

The PRCA has increased the number of female authors on its recommended reading list
The PRCA has increased the number of female authors on its recommended reading list

In the new list, 49 of the 81 books (60 per cent) have at least one female author.

The revision follows a backlash after the PRCA’s original reading list only contained one female author out of 41 books (2 per cent).

Journalista CEO Holly Sutton led a campaign to improve gender diversity by creating an alternative list of all female authors that the industry could use.

Several suggestions from this list made it onto the PRCA’s revised list, including the likes of the CIPR’s recent president and management consultant Sarah Hall, who has written several books on the list, and Anne Gregory’s Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns.

In launching the new list, PRCA director general Francis Ingham acknowledged the industry body had screwed up.

"Having invited members to submit suggestions, we are delighted today to release a new Diploma reading list – one that is truly contemporary, and reflects our industry much better. And one that will continue to evolve as members make suggestions in the future," Ingham said.

"I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this new list -in particular Holly Sutton, Sarah Hall, and Stephen Waddington – and to encourage practitioners to keep on letting us know if there are any other publications that should be included."

Sutton welcomed the PRCA's quick response and urged the industry body to take steps to ensure unconscious bias is not a problem in the future.

"It is reassuring that the PRCA has taken this issue sufficiently seriously to respond with a revised list in just a week," Sutton told PRWeek.

"The next step is to invest in unconscious bias training for all of their staff so other opportunities to further the diversity of our industry are not missed."


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