By: Meredith Erikson
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Along with the hashtag #pledgeforparity on social media, I have seen tremendous support for women all day. Today’s an important day to recognize all of the social, cultural, political and economic changes women have made and to keep the push for gender equality going. Besides enjoying all the encouraging posts online, I also looked at today from a PR perspective. In an article on “Stuart Bruce” called “Seven things PR professionals can do to empower women on International Women’s Day” I learned some new advice. Even though I’m not working for a company yet I thought this advice was essential for professionalism; an attribute that every working person must obtain.
In my ethics class, our studies have stressed the importance of the need for diversity in the industry. In an article by “The Atlantic” called “Why are there so many women in Public Relations,” it noted that there are more women in the PR industry than men yet the executives are still male. For PR and every other type of workplace, it’s important not only to keep the number of women in the field growing but to have opportunities for women to be in the higher positions that men are typically in. Out of the seven things PR professionals can do to empower women, I wanted to share the two that stood out the most to me.
Number two on the list is stated as “you’re a professional communicator so be professional. Eliminate all sexist language and avoid phrasing that assumes people are male – he/she, policeman etc.” Demeaning language cannot exist in the workplace. In my class we talk about stereotyping in advertising and how it’s unethical. For example, women are usually always seen using cleaning products. Men always portrayed as the boss. It’s time to end the stereotyping because it’s important that women believe they can be anything they want to be. If more women were advertised as CEOs, doctors or any other high-status career, it would be more empowering and communicated as a norm. We need to assume that women can hold any position a man can.
Number three on the list said to “create a safe space where women can talk to someone supportive who can provide informal, confidential advice and support on everything from career development to preventing harassment.” It’s important that women feel that they are working in an environment that encourages them to succeed. Without this, women won’t have a desire to work at such place.
Keeping these suggestions in mind, I hope that the recognition for women doesn’t stop today and that we’ll soon be closer to equality.
Bruce, S. (2016, March 08). Seven things PR professionals can do to empower women on International Women’s Day. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://stuartbruce.biz/2016/03/seven-things-pr-professionals-can-do-to-empower-women-on-international-womens-day.html
Khazan, O. (2014, August 8). Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/08/why-are-there-so-many-women-in-pr/375693/