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April 19, 2011

The History Behind Gendered Pay Inequities in PR — PRSA Op-Ed in CommPro.biz

David M. Dozier, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, the 2008 recipient of PRSA’s Outstanding Educator Award, wrote a published op-ed on behalf of PRSA for CommPro.biz that explored the historical dynamics behind gendered pay inequities in public relations.
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No Equal Pay in PR
David M. Dozier, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA
CommPro.biz
Published: April 18, 2011


No topic generates as much heat and as little light as does the gendered pay gap for public relations practitioners.

One fact can’t be denied: Women in public relations are paid significantly less than men. The argument becomes heated when we ask the reasons why. Most of my colleagues see gender discrimination, in one form or another, as a key explanation. Others, like my colleague Jim Hutton at Fairleigh Dickinson University, consider that explanation a myth.

As a white male who can collect Social Security, my biases might swing in Jim Hutton’s direction. As a father of two women, both successful biologists, I think my daughters ought to have equal professional opportunities with their male colleagues, including pay.

My accidental interest in the gendered pay gap dates back to 1982. Sharon Chapo, then a student at San Diego State, assisted me in crunching numbers from a PRSA membership survey, collected for other purposes. Sharon asked if women earned lower salaries than men. On a whim, we decided to find out.

Read the rest of the op-ed here.

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