Race, class, gender

3 Jan

We’ve discussed the gender imbalance in favour of women in public relations on this site before. We’re aware of the connection between affluence and success in higher education and the professions. Today, we’re being reminded that university students in Britain are predominantly white.

This university may have a more representative ethnic balance than some of those mentioned in the Education Guardian report, but does our profession? She may not be the stereotypical blonde, but most PR practitioners appear to be white and from middle class backgrounds. If this is true, what can or should be done about it (in a free market economy)? Does change depend on employers or on university admissions policies?

3 Responses to “Race, class, gender”

  1. Philip Young 03/01/2006 at 2:37 pm #

    I thought a lot about diversity before speaking at the CIPR’s Rebuilding Hope conference in Leeds and turned to the CIPR’s recent PR Today report to gain a picture of the profession. It was no surprise that the report should suggest that 62pc of PR practitioners are women, and it is reasonably encouraging that 6.5pc come from ethnic minorities (national average 8pc) with 11pc of those working in house describing themselves as other than white. The problem is that these figures do little to illustrate the more detailed demographics – who is doing what, at what age, and with what level of influence on, say, organisational culture.

  2. Pieter 20/01/2006 at 5:52 pm #

    The topic is heating. I noticed an interesting document with regards to this subject: I picked it up on the blog of Philippe Borremans: http://www.conversationblog.com/journal/2006/0/14/report-diversity-in-the-pr-industry.html. Please see my comment there. 🙂

  3. Richard Bailey 23/01/2006 at 3:42 pm #

    Thanks Pieter, and well done for seeing through the report as a PR tool. (Interestingly, I sometimes cite high female numbers in PR as a tribute to diversity, though others use it as an example of PR’s monoculture.) Your link to Philippe Borremans’s blog doesn’t work, and I can’t find a permalink, so the reference to his post – and your comment – is by date: 16 January 2006.

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