Guys! Want to meet a girl? Go into PR.

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Businesswoman and businessman sitting at desk using laptop, smilingAre you in PR? Yes? Ok, go ahead. Take a look around your office right now. What’s the ratio of men to women?

Looking around my college classrooms as a public relations major and around my office, I was and still am surrounded by women. The percentage of women in public relations varies from 60 percent to 70 percent depending on categories and the specific type of PR they work in. In essence: Girls, we dominate this profession numbers-wise!

Why is it so often we find women working in PR?

Is it because we are often times considered more left-brained? The “verbal, sorting, detail-oriented side of the brain is the left, whereas the spatial intuitive nonverbal side is the right.” Women statistically are more verbal, speaking twice as many words as men, which can help with pitching, right (or giving you that headache about how you didn’t go to the drycleaners after work)?

Is it because we can multitask for the best of them? I will never speak to this point because I fail at this female stereotype. It’s walking or talking people . . . not both at the same time!

Is it because we are crazy, obsessive compulsive organizers? In the agency world, one needs to keep track of the producer at XYZ radio station, while knowing they need to send that release to Dave instead of John now, and there is a client meeting at 3:00 p.m. and a presentation still needs to be made, and so much more. Again, an over-generalized stereotype, but I had to touch on it.

Really, this post is meant for fun. No one sex is better than the other and each of the points I make above can be argued and seen in a case-by-case basis. Guys, you rock too. But the numbers speak for themselves as far as women owning the majority in PR.

What do you think? Is your office dominated by women? Do you agree that sometimes women can carry some PR tasks better than their male counterparts? Do you think the women in your office are totally right-brained or unorganized people? Let me know! And play nice in the comments section.

Why do I feel a rebuttal Cog post coming my way . . . ?

[Cog Note: (11/11/09): Ok, yes, she got me.  Response here]

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  • GoKTGo

    Haha! It's so true! Every PR office I've ever worked at has been female-dominated – but oddly enough, the few men who have worked in these office have always been in the highest positions…hmmm (not trying to be a feminist, just stating a fact! haha)

    The one advertising agency I worked was mostly male, however…so I think it's interesting!

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    Guys want to maintain your sanity? Don't date a girl from your agency…

  • http://twitter.com/stina6001 Christina K

    Kate I love your posts… :)

    At my first job, a colleague that was a former journalist for a top ten newspaper, told me he'd rather get pitched by women. We were more engaging, fun to listen to. Bascially, we flirt. Now that my sound creepy, but this came up again recently with some colleagues at my current position. We jokingly discussed our “sexy voice” that we'll put on when pitching. I unfortunately don't have that. But apparently it works for some of them.

    I'm not saying men can't flirt. But I think back in the day there were more men as journalists/producers so maybe that's where my colleague was coming from.

    What I want to know is why I see more men working in the higher positions in PR instead of the entry level ones. They have to start somewhere. I see more men as VPs, SVPs, etc than women.

  • TimOtis

    Nice post, Kate. As a male in PR, I started with B2B agency and noticed lots of women there, then went into more consumer tech start-up PR and noticed a mix of both male and female. It wasn't until I jumped into more entrepreneurial agencies that I found more men than women working– on the front of generating biz leads, creating additional product offerings, etc.

    Also, it seems that at a certain point, women leave their PR roles to pursue being a mom which leads to the overabundance of men in senior positions. BUT this is drastically changing, as I'm starting to see women in executive roles more and more.

    Cool.

  • http://prbreakfastclub.com PR Cog

    So much for that women's intuition stereotype… ;-)

    But seriously – Our agency has changed M:F ratio over the years (but in a small agency 2-3 people going through the revolving door can quickly change the profile of the company).

    Since joining twitter and expanding my circle to other agencies, etc. the trend is obvious though (And thank Goodness for that trend). ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/tjdietderich TJ Dietderich

    As a previous commenter mentioned, although PR is heavily female, the executives and managers are almost always male. This is true in all industries with a high female ratio such as education. And I don't mind if this sounds feminist:

    We need to have more opportunities for the droves of talented, brilliant female flacks out there. Some agencies represent us well, but others have a long, long way to go.

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  • http://www.providentpartners.net/blog Albert_Maruggi

    It started back when apples were on the “Do not eat” list and progressed to never, ever seeing a bad looking pharmaceutical rep until the ultimate manifestation of A&F's the look.

    Humans, what a simple species.

  • John Taynton

    The two directors who set up our agency, PR Dogs, are men but all the employees are women. The reason? We find the calibre of female applicants much better than that of their male colleagues.

  • Amy B

    Women dominated PR because, until the past decade or so, it was almost impossible for women to get onto the Executive track (CEO, CIO, President, Corporate Counsel, etc). But women could rise high in the ranks of PR. However, most companies still had a man as head or VP of PR. Glad things are changing–we still have a long ways to go!

  • prnicolev

    Great post, Kate! Luckily for me, I work at a marketing firm so it's actually dominated by men (I'm the lone PR girl lol)…but I remember during school I always thought the boys were so lucky to be surrounded by 80% women (I actually think there were only 2 or 3 boys that graduated in PR the semester I did). I always told my single guy friends that they should become PR majors if they're looking to meet a girl ;)

  • billpaultzer

    sadly, more women in PR because the salaries are lower and women still get paid less in corporate america.

  • billpaultzer

    sadly more women are in PR because they makes less than men in corporate america so the PR slot is considered a women's job while the men have more upper-level management jobs

  • Tony J

    A PR Masters student (female) once told me the reason women head the corporate PR function more than any other corporate function is that male managers think PR is less important so it can be assigned to women and show the company is “diverse”. scarey huh?

  • Amy B

    Women dominated PR because, until the past decade or so, it was almost impossible for women to get onto the Executive track (CEO, CIO, President, Corporate Counsel, etc). But women could rise high in the ranks of PR. However, most companies still had a man as head or VP of PR. Glad things are changing–we still have a long ways to go!

  • http://www.nicolevanscoten.com Nicole VanScoten

    Great post, Kate! Luckily for me, I work at a marketing firm so it's actually dominated by men (I'm the lone PR girl lol)…but I remember during school I always thought the boys were so lucky to be surrounded by 80% women (I actually think there were only 2 or 3 boys that graduated in PR the semester I did). I always told my single guy friends that they should become PR majors if they're looking to meet a girl ;)

  • billpaultzer

    sadly, more women in PR because the salaries are lower and women still get paid less in corporate america.

  • billpaultzer

    sadly more women are in PR because they makes less than men in corporate america so the PR slot is considered a women's job while the men have more upper-level management jobs

  • Tony J

    A PR Masters student (female) once told me the reason women head the corporate PR function more than any other corporate function is that male managers think PR is less important so it can be assigned to women and show the company is “diverse”. scarey huh?

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