Women working in public relations earn $8,000 less than men according to a new SDSU study.
An income gender gap exists in public relations.
In the field of public relations, women are paid less than men by $330,000 over their careers, according to new research by San Diego State University professors.
The study, by SDSU public relations professors David Dozier, Bey-Ling Sha and Hongmei Shen, considered gender, professional experience, career specialization and managerial roles, among other factors.
“For the first time, we were able to statistically account for and thereby eliminate all the excuses in the public relations profession,” Sha said about gender pay-gap disparities.
SDSU researchers surveyed more than 4,500 randomly selected public relations professionals from December 2010 to January 2011. The surveys showed men’s average income was $21,600 greater than women.
The study revealed that women work in lower-paying public relations specializations such as media and community relations, have fewer years of professional experience and have more frequent career interruptions with reduced participation in management decisions.
“Even when you account for all the other possible things that affect pay, women still make $8,000 less than men annually in public relations,” Sha said. “That’s really the key message.”
Choosing pay disparity
Sha said women take some of the blame for unfair pay.
“As an employer, one can choose to pay women less than men,” Sha said. “But people who are paid less than they’re worth also make the choice to accept that and stay with the company instead of moving on or doing something about it.”
The findings were recently presented at the 2012 International Communication Association Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.