Are Public Relations & Communication jobs mostly a woman’s domain in India?


In an industry once dominated by men, women now outnumber their male colleagues and the trend shows no signs of abating. Have female professionals become a new Public Relations (PR) super breed?

Women have definitely made their mark in the PR business over the last 20 years, to the extent that there is now a major shortage of men coming into the profession, and that's official. According to latest membership figures released by the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), women now outnumber men by 60:40 - a massive swing since 1987, when figures highlighted the opposite at 20:80.

Have women become a super breed in the world of PR, and why has it happened in this particular industry?

One of the reasons behind the success of women PR professionals is undoubtedly the flexibility of the profession, as it provides the opportunity for career-minded women to have it all in terms of high powered jobs, while still balancing family life - at least to some degree. The emergence of electronic technology has also spawned the independent sector creating thousands of one-man band and freelance operators - who are predominantly women. (1)

Priyanka Seth, senior account manager, Corporate Voice, Weber Shandwick, opines,“PR, more than a profession is an art, women definitely make better PR professionals but it would be unfair to men if we call it solely a chick's art. Having said that, I do believe women are more tactful when it comes to the balancing act- be it calmness, creativity and assertiveness that make them communicate better and get their point across. All of us have had problems handling a difficult client and women are blessed with the virtue of patience with which they are able to draw a distinct line between assertion and aggression which helps them go a long way in the profession.”

And she wraps up with, “PR is all about telling your brand/client story; women add expressions to the way the story is told which is of better interest to the media, clients and the masses”. Harpreet Singh Marwah, Senior Media Executive at Clea Media, is the only male in his firm of 10 girls and when asked what he thinks about his lonely status in the agency, he was quick to answer, “Girls are better with clients in licensing, lifestyle, beauty and fashion industry. As they have more knowledge and it is but a truth that this profession is for the girls”, he further gives examples of his own self.

An Expert's take:

Dilip Cherian, who has been instrumental in giving image makeover to many companies through his agency Perfect Relations, opines, “Endowed with natural communication skills, we have seen our women colleagues at Perfect Relations also quick to grasp the core issues of a situation and deliver quality work. Another area of strength is resilience that goes a long way in surviving pressures that the job demands. Women multitask better, men grind much finer – that’s the only distinction I can see between the sexes.

Besides the usual clichés about being more societal in programming to be pleasant to interact with, it is no surprise that women come across as warmer networkers. Most importantly, women today have shed their old stereotypes and are ready to put in long hours and eager to deal with difficult situations. So you may well find a female PR practitioner on the ground advising her client during a labour unrest or a communal flare-up as often as at an art event. If women journalists can do what they achieve, does a PR professional need to be far behind?”

Ladies special

A PR lady’s job is not just glam-sham; These new age ladies are high on adrenaline, quick in wits, capable to pull the wheels of their company on a fast track, so all you boys out there, do not take offence, but the pedigree is reluctant to share their working space with you! (2)


- Suniet Bezbaroowa (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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