PR women: New data show gender-based salary gap is widening

Bey-Ling Sha, the chair of PRSA’s National Committee on Work, Life & Gender, offers a sneak peek at the most recent study on gender and pay in PR. You might want to sit down for this.

Women have earned less than men since the government began tracking these numbers. In 1979, a woman earned 62 cents for every dollar earned by a man. In 2005 and 2006, women made 81 cents for every dollar men made. That was the all-time high!

In the last half decade, we’ve not only failed to make progress on the issue of gendered income inequity—we’ve increased the wage gap between men and women.

The public relations profession is not immune to this larger societal problem.

Preliminary data from the Public Relations Society of America’s 2010 Work, Life & Gender Survey indicated that the average annual income for men in public relations was about $120K; that figure for women was about $72K. In our 2006 survey, the average annual income for men was $98,188.82; the average for women was $67,853.08.

This income disparity is a problem for the public relations profession. Here’s why:

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