It’s International Women’s Day

The theme this year’s International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change. You can follow the hashtag and see what people are up to.

Last year on International Women’s Day (IWD) I wrote a post on Pledge for Parity, helping women and girls achieve their ambitions. Since then, I’ve mentored a friend who has now taken her biggest career step and made it onto the board, I’ve worked with interns at Aura PR, leading them through the public relations industry and helping them get into full time work, and I’ve spent more time with other female independent practitioners, listening and giving advice. Sometimes it’s not the big things that matter – small actions like listening are a key skill, and often have the biggest impact.

International Women's Day

This year’s Be Bold for Change campaign has led me to think about what change is needed. I guest blogged for PR Careers last year and I said “For women working in PR, we need to showcase more success, so that younger women in PR have an inspiration or someone they consider a role model. If we do that, then we’re helping the gender issue we currently face.” I read it back recently when a reminder social media post popped up and I thought it should be reworded to say what I meant – we need to showcase successful women better. There are plenty of successful PR women but we’re not great at doing our own PR!

Having a role model in your area of work is important. It gives you something to benchmark against, something to aim for and the role model should inspire you.

Timed to coincide with IWD, there is a gender report being released by CIPR and Women in PR. The recent state of the profession survey by CIPR found that there was almost a £6,000 pay gap. This is not acceptable, especially as the industry is made up predominantly of women. When the report is released, I’ve spoken to another couple of female PR practitioners who have agreed to work with me to organise an event, discussing the report and from that we will note and agree firm actions we can each do in our work. Watch this space for info.

So, what change is needed?

#1 We need to close the pay gap

#2 We need to help each other overcome challenges

#3 We need to encourage the younger generation of female PR leaders

#4 We need to be looking at our recruitment and retention processes and policies

#5 We need to be more flexible in our approach to those who have had children

#6 We need to commit to a longer term plan of how to tackle gender equality

#7 We need to challenge those who are biased or won’t change

#8 We need to do it for ourselves

#9 We need to celebrate more

#10 We need to ensure education is prominent

My area of work is of course public relations, but I work with many businesses and organisations who can equally look at and adopt the 10 points of change above. Take action and use the widget below to say how you will #BeBoldForChange.

I’m off to an event this afternoon celebrating women in business. I’ll be sure to ask those there how they will be bold!