Holding women back in PR limits agencies’ effectiveness, creativity

The MSLGGroup recently agreed to a $2.9 million settlement over allegations of gender discrimination. This author says that PR firms have much to lose when they keep women from climbing the ladder.

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The gender gap is affecting the public relations industry.

On Wednesday, the MSLGGroup—the world’s fifth-largest public relations agency—agreed to a $2.9 million settlement in a lawsuit in which more than 100 staffers alleged that the company had practiced gender discrimination.

Though the agency did not admit to wrongdoing, employees claimed that women were paid and promoted less than men and subject to discriminatory reassignments, demotions and firings.

The pay gap between women and men in public relations is no secret. A 2015 survey of 1,002 U.S. communication professionals by PR Week and recruitment firm Bloom, Gross & Associates revealed that the median salary for PR pros is $81,000 for women and $127,500 for men.

In public relations, keeping women from the top will only keep agencies from the top.

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