The list of 77 employee benefits and perks compiled by recruiter Dennis Spring shows the increasing power of women in the PR workplace.

Companies are offering benefits such as childcare, family and medical leave, lactation room, paid family leave and paid maternity leave.

Dennis SpringDennis Spring

Most of the benefits listed by Spring apply to males also and some, like family and medical leave, are required by the federal government. Paid maternity leave is required if companies have 50+ employees and the employee has 1,250 hours at the firm.

Other workplace enhancements that Spring found include casual dress policy, birthday off, help with student debt, company smartphone and laptop, free massages, liberal vacation, new biz commission, relaxation lounge, summer hours, tuition assistance and wellness pay.

Spring compiled his list with the help of PR employees who cited the workplace enhancements offered by their own employers.

A key perk listed is “work remotely.” Many PR people and others are now working from their homes one or more days a week since two hours and more of commuting time can be saved, particularly in New York and other major cities.

Mothers with young children can function adequately from home, killing two birds with one stone. Employers judge whether enough results are being obtained.

PR Women Shorted in Pay, Titles

Publication of Spring’s list puts more focus on the special needs of women in PR posts.

They comprise up to 80% of those in the industry but do not have pay and title equality with men.

A Pew report April 3, 2017, says pay of women employees in the U.S. in 2016 was 83% of pay for males, a slight gain over the 80% found for 2015.

The “PR Women Who Changed History” program March 9 in New York included statistics provided by SVP Judith Harrison of Weber Shandwick that showed disparity in PR pay and titles.

  • The ten largest PR firms, as ranked by several sources, employ 32,851 worldwide and 12,646 in the U.S., but none is headed by a woman.
  • Women are nearly 70% of PR firm employees but hold only 30% of top positions, according to The HolmesReport. Only 11% of ad agency creative directors are women.
  • Women have 52% of all professional jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and earn almost 60% of all undergraduate and master’s degrees.
  • While they are 78% of those in healthcare, only 15% are in senior executive posts and none are CEOs.
  • Women have 54% of financial services jobs but only 12% are executives and none are CEOs, according to the Center for American Progress.

New PR Women’s Group Seeks Equality

The Organization of Women in PR USA

“Gender pay gap” is the biggest issue on the agenda of American Women in PR, a new sister organization of Women in PR Canada.

WPRC chairwoman and president Talia Davis and others launched the new organization June 9 at a reception in New York. She heads communications at AdvantageBC, which attracts firms to British Columbia, Canada.

AWPR will build chapters throughout the U.S. It acknowledged the existence of New York Women in Communications but notes that its 2,000+ membership includes those from media, publishing, and other industries and is not PR-specific.

PR Society of America and the Canadian PR Society have diverse memberships and can’t be dedicated to specific goals for women in PR, it further says. PRSA, with female membership of at least 70%, switched to a board with nine men and eight women in 2017 after several years of a woman-dominated board. The 2016 board had 12 women and five men.

“Women are the driving force in PR,” says AWPR Advisory Council member Deirdre Breckenridge, CEO of Pure Performance Communications, Marlboro, N.J., one of the founders of AWPR. “We are not just sitting back on the sidelines and watching change,” she adds. “We are making change happen.”