Why do women at PR agencies earn less than men?

A PR Week study found that wage inequality has grown substantially over the past year. Here’s one prominent woman in PR’s take on the figures.

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There’s a gender wage gap at PR agencies and in our industry overall, and it’s getting worse. According to the latest PRWeek/Bloom, Gross & Associates Salary Survey, women in PR earn significantly less than their male counterparts on average. Among those with less than five years experience, men out-earn women by $5500 annually. For more experienced PR pros, the gap balloons to a whopping $42,000, a full $7,000 more than the 2014 difference of $35,000.

The difference is particularly striking when you consider that women predominate in PR, particularly at agencies. So, why is this a problem, and what can we do about it?

The pros interviewed by PR Week call for pay transparency, strict equality standards for starting salaries, and for change to be institutionalized by agency leaders, beginning with their own teams. Dale Bornstein of M Booth insists that the discrepancy is not a gender issue and that “the worst thing we can do is make it about gender.”

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