It’s time for women to man up, says Sophie Hodgson, freelance PR
Date: 04 January 2012 15:51
I’m stating upfront that I know my view won’t be popular, but the fact is that the recent PRmoment article about sexism in PR gave me the madness. The excerpts from the report made me want to cry. And not in solidarity for my fellow PR sisters, but from sheer frustration.
I’m not saying sexism doesn’t exist, of course it does, but is it rife in the industry? Please. The basic premise of the report seems to focus not on how people are treated in the work place, but the money they get. Men get more. If you think you’re getting paid too little, ever asked for more? If you are good at your job and genuinely feel there is no reason why you are being paid less, do your research and go in and ask for it. Note that turning up on time is not a reason (yes, someone did say that to me once). If men get paid more, perhaps it’s because they’re less afraid to ask. If they’ve got the focus and gumption to ask for it, then who can begrudge them the extra cash?
If you’re sat there waiting for someone to realise you’re annoyed, you’ll probably be sitting for a long time. Any decent agency, if it doesn’t think you are ready now, will put in place a development programme with set time lines to help you get that extra wad of cash. Am I the only person that thinks if people put as much effort into their job as they did whingeing about it, then perhaps they would get further in their career?
Having hit 30 this year I decided to leave my position as board director and head of technology at Speed Communications and go it alone. It’s tough, but I don’t think the pitches I lose are because I have boobs and vice versa for the ones I win. For the latter, I’d like to think it’s because after ten years in the industry I know what I’m talking about and as for the former, well sometimes things don’t work out.
My biggest fear is that the report will lead to a women-in group. It’s the PC army gone stark raving bonkers. Not only are they deeply patronising, but also the irony is that they only further “victimise” women. Oh wait, the PRCA already has one …
Then of course there is the issue of children. Motherhood is hard. The balance and compromises needed would test the patience of a saint. But I know many successful women in PR with young children. The difference is that they’ve built a business around themselves; this makes them integral to the organisation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that if you have commercial value, then you’re a business asset worth investing in – man, woman or animal (those Blue Peter dogs get good food to keep their coats that shiny).
Come on ladies, man up (pun intended). You get you where you want to go in life – so go get ‘em!