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If the demographics of the Northern Arizona University PRSSA chapter meeting I (Scott, that is) recently attended are an indication, women will continue to enter the PR industry in an overwhelming majority while men will shy away from it.

There were about 30 students at the meeting and the only males in the room were Jerry Thull, the chapter’s faculty advisor, and me, the chapter’s professional advisor.

The board of directors of Phoenix chapter of the PRSA is about the same: 15 women and three men.

HMA Public Relations is no different, as I am the only male on the team.

At the international level, there is slightly different mix. The executive committee of the Public Relations Global Network is comprised of seven men and four women.

Conor Horgan of Cullen Communications in Dublin, Ireland, conducted an extensive study on the issue as part of his MBA a couple years ago. His research found that PR agencies employ 70 percent women. (Clients are 60 percent male).

He states, “many practitioners hold an optimistic view that as public relations matures and gains more acceptance as an indispensable business function, it will naturally attract males. Unfortunately, this optimism isn’t borne out by demographic trends.”

I can certainly attest to that.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

3 Comments

  1. hmatime says:

    As a Business/Marketing major before switching to Journo/PR my senior year of college, I have a definite perspective on this topic.

    There was a 70/30 male to female ratio in the business/marketing side. Once I moved to journo/PR, things flipped dramatically. There were only TWO males in all of my PR-specific classes total.

    I have to think that perhaps today, men who want to get into communications tend to gravatate toward the business school for the marketing programs rather than the more writing-focused journalism road.

  2. Just attended the ASU Cronkite Internship Fair on Friday. I was told there were about 45 internship applicants. I only saw 3 males candidates. Those who were there interviewing held to a pretty similar demographic mix, although Dave and Sam were there along with a few guys from the Dbacks and Allied. But, for the most part the rest were women.

  3. I spoke at ASU PRSSA last night — three men in the room! They just added 32 members to their roster, we shall see.

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