Females

Celebrating the female story – creating positive change for women in PR

7 months ago by Lucy Cairncross

Celebrating the female story – creating positive change for women in PR

Females

Working in recruitment for the communications industry, I have met thousands of incredible women who work in PR.

In the earlier stages of my career, I was meeting similarly young, ambitious women, a few years out of university, hungry to develop their experience, contacts books and absorb everything they could from the agencies or in house roles they were in.

In 2021, I turned 45 and I have now been in communications recruitment for over 17 years. Reflecting on my age milestone and needing to tick a new box on a form, I thought about all the women I know, who have now left the PR industry.

Many leave as the balance of working and personal commitments becomes too great, or too expensive to manage. But this is often coupled with the fact that they don’t see enough women in senior positions, who have taken the journey and reached the career heights they set out to achieve.

When the team at Women in PR approached me about supporting their 45 over 45, I jumped at the opportunity. I was delighted to be part of their judging panel and to join them as part of a debate on why so many women leave the industry and what we can all do to help combat this in the future.

WIPR - Women in PR 45 over 45 Awards Ceremony

Some of the key issues discussed:

Role models

We look for our future selves reflected in others. It’s important to know that those who understand the challenges of a career journey as a woman are there to aspire to and learn from.

Covid-19

The pandemic has created a huge change in all of us, no matter our gender. However, the data shows that women have been more deeply affected than men. The questions of what we want, what’s important in our lives and the values of who we work for, have prompted a massive period of reflection in people and The Great Resignation is a result of that.

Recruitment practices

Technology has enabled great advances in recruitment practices, particularly for larger organisations’ talent and HR teams. But they can be incredibly challenging platforms to navigate as a candidate. There is a real danger of being immediately excluded from a process based on dates on a CV and experience gaps. The products of recruitment are people, and you need to know more of the individual story than the words on a page or a series of dates.

Feeling visible

Life doesn’t end at 40 but society, the advertising world and the media can make women feel that way. The women that came before us fought hard to gain the right to vote, to work, and to choose. It’s our turn to make sure the women that come after us can see what they can achieve and continue to change.

Gender equality is not just another box to tick. Women in PR, Noon’s Elinor Mills and VMAGROUP are leading the way to make sure that in the world of PR, we celebrate those who lead the story of positive change.

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VMAGROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, digital and marketing communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications and marketing industry, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK,VMAGROUP has offices in London and Manchester and in Europe,VMAGROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMAGROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is a Diversity Pledged Recruiter.

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