Girls, Girls, Girls. Examining the “chick factor” in PR

Watch for details in this space…

When I finish grading projects and proctoring exams in a few days, I plan to publish at least two posts about the gender imbalance in public relations — along with some ideas on how to fix it. I’ll tell you what the women in my Case Studies class learned about the problem, and I’ll share some of their strategies for attracting men to the PR biz.

Regular readers will recall my raising the gender issue back in January in a post that drew 47 comments and went on for two weeks.

If you haven’t noticed the gender shift while attending PRSA or IABC meetings, come to my classroom sometime. At Kent State, nearly 90% of PR majors are women. This year, for the first time in history, EVERY student in our gateway PR Case Studies class was female.

But PR’s gender diversity problem isn’t unique to Kent State. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that lots of folks talk about but few act upon. Maybe you don’t agree that it’s a problem at all. I think it is.

What will it take to attract men to the PR biz? Watch this space next week.

Until then, I’ll be knee deep in final projects and exams. It’s tough sledding I tell ya.


4 Responses to Girls, Girls, Girls. Examining the “chick factor” in PR

  1. Breeze says:

    Well, I’ll be interested to see what is the latest take on this. I’m still unconvinced that this is any more of a problem for PR than it is for, say, nursing or elementary education.

  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    Agreed. And it’s a problem for those professions, too.

  3. Jen Zingsheim says:

    I’m really looking forward to what your students have suggested. I find the imbalance troubling on several levels, and would love to see more equitable numbers.

    At the PR firm I worked for, my practice group was one of the few with a significant number of men in it: Public Affairs. Of course, PA practices draw talent from politics, which is a male-dominated profession. I also have hopes that the increasing role of technology in PR (all of the web 2.0 tools out there) will attract more men into the profession.

    Again, looking forward to examining the “chick factor”!


  4. Greg Smith says:

    I’ll be joining the debate (again) Bill. And for anyone interested, my PhD Thesis (2007) was on this very topic. See the results at my website and download the entire 100,000 words at

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