In our webinar, ‘Return on Inclusion’, Man Bites Dog’s Divisional Director, Duncan Sparke, and Associate Director, Lauren Street were joined by financial services industry experts Farmida Bi CBE, from Norton Rose Fulbright, and Dominic Traynor, from BNY Mellon. The session covered how the financial services industry has the ability to not only advocate for major societal change, but to power it. For that reason, no-one else can quite match the potential of financial services marketers to catalyse progress.

To catch up on the webinar, watch the recording below.

The panel discussed the importance of creating impactful social purpose campaigns that cut through the noise. The problem with social impact campaigns, however, is that having a widespread real-world impact doesn’t happen overnight. Our webinar looked at the success factors in building a truly impactful social purpose marketing campaign, and unpacked one particular campaign that echoed around the world: BNY Mellon Investment Management’s The Pathway to Inclusive Investment – flipping the narrative from one of individual risk to one of global opportunity.

The webinar centered around the financial services sector and the pivotal role it can play in fostering positive social change. It touched on the importance of addressing the gender investment gap, and the intersectional complexities that play a role – from culture, and ethnicity, to socio-economic opportunity. The combination of these challenges and financial services’ ability to drive social evolution is a vital interplay.

The topics discussed during the webinar helped to illustrate the importance of the industry engaging with governments, and educational institutions, in an effort to tackle the societal pressures that sit at the cause of the investment gap dilemma.

An example of a purpose-led thought leadership campaign that successfully followed these principles is BNY Mellon Investment Management’s The Pathway to Inclusive Investment developed in partnership with Man Bites Dog. This social impact campaign is the largest study into global female financial inclusion. It found that the investment industry excludes 72% of women, and costs the global economy more than $3.22 trillion. It found that solving the inclusion crisis would open up an additional 1.86 trillion to fund climate and social investment aims.

During the Q&A session, several critical topics were addressed such as: 

Organisations need to be committed to the long-term result with social impact campaigns. Having leadership buy-in and setting the parameters of success as real-world change beyond the immediate top-line advantage is crucial. Cutting through the noise, and delivering a campaign that is truly impactful, with data-driven insights is key in turning the dial on change. 

To kickstart your brand's sustainable go-to-market strategy, reach out to us at [email protected] and explore our sustainability marketing solutions. For the latest updates on Man Bites Dog events and content, register for future event invitations here, or follow us on LinkedIn.

Employee experience has been steadily moving up the agenda for the C-Suite. Gartner cited it as a top priority for HR leaders in 2023, and with phenomena such as ‘The Great Resignation’, ‘quiet quitting’, 'bare minimum Monday' and 'resenteeism' on the rise, it stands to reason that this should be a core strategic focus for leaders as they battle to overcome these challenges.

There are so many reports highlighting the enormous negative impact the pandemic had on the global job market, resulting in instability for organisations. However, it also created an opportunity for people to reflect on their careers and consider their options – hello, ‘Great Resignation’. Data released by the UK’s Labour Force Survey in November 2021 showed that, of the 1.02 million people who moved jobs between July and September 2021, 391,000 of them had resigned – the highest spike ever recorded. While in the USA, according to the federal JOLTS report, about 50.5 million people quit their jobs in 2022, surpassing the previous record-breaking figure of 47.8 million in 2021.

In a similar vein, while some were considering resignation, there are those that started to fall into the ‘quiet quitting’ bucket – referring to employees who put no more effort into their jobs than absolutely necessary. This push-back against hustle culture has also seen the rise of ‘bare minimum Monday’. Taking this one step further, many employees started to fall into the ‘resenteeism’ pot, meaning they are not concealing their dissatisfaction with their role or their place of work. Reports suggest these behavioural trends have emerged in the wake of the pandemic, driven largely by social media, perhaps with most targeting efforts towards Gen Z in a new era of hybrid work.

When considering the ways in which leaders can attract and retain talent, focusing on employee experience has to be a top strategic priority. But what does it really mean? Wind back only a few years and a positive employee experience might have meant a pool table in the corner of the office, some colourful bean bags to relax on and a few beers with the team on dress-down Friday. We’ve come a long way.

Employee experience now has to be embedded within a much more sophisticated diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, with initiatives encompassing race, gender identity, neurodiversity, age and disability to name just a few.

The role businesses can play in progressing DEI was a key topic on this year’s Davos agenda. The Global Parity Alliance (GPA) – a cross-industry group committed to advancing DEI around the world – released a new report to help companies identify initiatives that have resulted in significant, quantifiable, scalable and sustainable impact. The aim was to support leaders with these insights and contribute to faster DEI impact across the global business community.

Many organisations are recognising that focusing on DEI is the right thing to do, and prioritising it is good for business. A recent McKinsey article pointed to DEI being a strategic imperative to win the battle for talent amid the ‘Great Resignation’, better serve clients and stay ahead of the competition. To do this, leaders need to mobilise their people to roll out and externalise their DEI initiatives.

And marketing and communications professionals have a key role to play in externalising their initiatives through inclusive campaigns that empower diverse groups. There are global brands doing wonderfully creative things; in 2019, Gillette took a stance on transgender inclusion with a campaign that showed the experience of shaving for the first time from the perspective of a trans male teen and his father. This highlighted a part of its audience that many other brands might not have considered and showed solidarity with the trans community. In another example, Microsoft’s “WeAllWin” campaign showcased its Xbox Adaptive Controller for children with physical disabilities, highlighting the company’s dedication to equal opportunities.

As the Global Parity Alliance report reveals, despite increased commitment towards – and investment in – advancing DEI globally, progress is slow. But progress is key, and by having a strategic focus on the right DEI initiatives for their business, leaders will be enhancing the employee experience, increasing engagement, better serving customers and staying on track for success in 2023 and beyond.

Brands need to stand out in a crowded market. Customers, employees and suppliers want to see both vision and action from leaders when it comes to DEI progress. At Man Bites Dog, we’re working with some amazing organisations to help amplify their initiatives. Drop us a line at [email protected] if you’d like to know more.

In the past two years companies have been faced with unparalleled levels of disruption to cash flow, growth, innovation, profit, recruitment and staff wellbeing, and presenteeism to name just a few. According to ONS figures from January 2022, the levels of Omicron in December meant that around three per cent of all workers were off sick – the highest since June 2020.  

But women in business have had it especially tough. According to The World Economic Forum, Covid is regarded as the biggest setback to gender equality in a decade. And for working mums like me, our ability to seemingly be able to juggle it all has been tested like never before. But this has come with a price for many. In a 2021 Mumsnet survey of over 1,500 women, 76% said that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their own mental health, and of those who had been in paid work in March 2020, 70% said they had struggled to balance work and childcare at home.  

What I’ve observed and experienced over the past two years has merely reinforced the need to ensure that women in business fight for, and make the most of, every opportunity that they can to overcome challenges and succeed, from the graduates in their first real jobs, to the seasoned entrepreneurs. 

During my time at Man Bites Dog, I’ve had the pleasure of working with such a wide range of brilliantly talented colleagues, and clients with many females in C-Suite positions. And here at Man Bites Dog the women take the lead. Claire Mason is our very own founder and CEO, Mary Maher is our MD, Fiona Buckley and Ally Sharpe are two out of our three Divisional Directors, while Sabrina, Jade, Alice, Alex and myself make up 5/6 of the Principal Consultants, with many more wonderful women across the business. 

Diversity and equality are close to our hearts in our business because it really matters. In 2018, I worked with the team and Claire Mason to launch the Gender Say Gap, which is a term we coined to highlight the invisibility of women and diverse leaders as expert authorities in business and public life. Since then, it’s been part of our mission to increase the representation of women and diverse experts. We now aim to foster say equality by asking leaders in business and the public sector, the marketing communications profession and the media to measure the diversity of the expert authorities they elevate as thought leaders and set targets for change.  

In 2021 we wanted to examine the other side of the representation equation – the media. 

In partnership with Women in Journalism, we carried out the largest piece of research on gender inequality in UK journalism and media. Based on the opinions of 1,200 UK journalists, The Gender News Gap report provides insight into how the current gender imbalance impacts female journalists, the media and society more broadly. 

While embarking on the media outreach in support of this campaign I received an email from an editor about a synopsis for a piece of content on the Gender News Gap. He said: 

“I feel people may be getting ever so slightly weary of endless gender/equality pieces.”  

 You might have read that assumption about his readers in slight disbelief, as I did. However, he quickly followed up with: 

“We now need actions and results rather than endless talking shops. Examples of real tangibles, truly meaningful best practice, and personal achievements.” 

I couldn’t agree more, but until equality is achieved we need to continue to have a voice about the issues at play and carry out research to take a pulse check on attitudes and behaviours to monitor progress. And many of our clients are leading the way. 

I’m proud to work on some key client projects that also bang the equality drum for women across our core industry sectors. I was part of the Man Bites Dog team working in partnership with BNY Mellon Investment Management to create a powerful thought leadership campaign which explores how increasing women’s participation in investing can change the world. The Pathway to Inclusive Investment found that if women invested at the same rate as men, it could result in an additional US$3.22 trillion of capital being invested globally, much of which would flow towards investments with a positive impact on society and the environment.  

Celebrating diversity and success is something that we live by at Man Bites Dog. We have a culture of praise where praise is due in the form of “Big Ups” to team members for going above and beyond, for doing something special and generally knocking it out of the park. 

So I’d like to give a huge BIG up to all the hard-working women out there right now, to the parents, to our male allies and everyone still banging the drum for female equality. In line with a key message from our campaign with BNY Mellon Investment Management - inclusivity and diversity matters, and the time to act is now.  

 

Launched today, The Gender News Gap: The Impact of Inequality in Journalism & Media is a major new report on gender inequality in UK journalism. While 96% of journalists in the UK believe the media has a duty to reflect the diversity of the society it serves, the research reveals that fewer than one in five (19%) female journalists believe that there is adequate gender diversity in UK journalism.

Women in Journalism (WiJ), and global thought leadership consultancy, Man Bites Dog, carried out major new research on gender diversity in UK journalism. It examines the opinions of 1,200 UK journalists on gender diversity in journalism and its impact on female journalists, the media and society more broadly.

The research identifies some of the greatest challenges facing women in journalism right now, including access to the profession and career progression. Three quarters (73%) of UK journalists believe that career progression in journalism is more difficult for women than men. Leadership plays a significant role, with 70% of female journalists complaining that the most senior roles remain dominated by men. Male and female journalists also call out a ‘macho and intimidating culture’ creating a glass newsroom that excludes women from ‘high status’ journalism specialisms – such as hard news, business, finance and politics.

The report reveals that COVID-19 has compounded the challenges facing women in journalism, with women taking on greater domestic duties at the expense of their careers and mental health, and female journalists more likely to be furloughed during the pandemic.

Online harassment is a challenge for all UK journalists, with 4 in 10 (41%) journalists experiencing online hate in response to posting their work online and more than two-thirds (68%) of women in journalism hesitating before posting work online due to fear of online abuse. Perhaps as a result of this trolling, just over half (55%) of female journalists are comfortable with a public profile as a commentator on their specialist subject, compared with two-thirds (67%) of male journalists.

Women In Journalism Chair, Daily Mirror editor Alison Phillips, said,

“Women in Journalism campaigned for almost 30 years for representative gender balance and diversity in our industry through our workshops, research and panel events. And yet our survey exposes the shocking truth that the gender gap in journalism stubbornly persists. 

The media is the prism through which the world sees itself. For it to be fair and accurate we need all kinds of people from a host of diverse backgrounds telling all sorts of stories. That makes great journalism.”

The Gender News Gap is itself a key contributor to the Gender Say Gap: the lack of female expert contributors consulted by the media. According to more than four in five women in journalism, female journalists and expert authorities highlight issues that would otherwise be underrepresented and 96% of UK journalists believe that visible female experts can inspire women to enter professions and sectors where they may be currently underrepresented. Despite this, just 28% of journalists report that their organisation has set targets to improve the representation of female expert contributors and less than a quarter (23%) of media directors participating in our survey said their organisation measures the gender or ethnic diversity of their journalist workforce.

Man Bites Dog’s Founder and CEO Claire Mason says: “Equality in journalism is a critical foundation for a more equal society. Public opinion and policy are shaped by the people who decide which stories are told and who tells them.

The Gender News Gap directly impacts how women and diverse communities are represented, how our experiences and concerns are reflected, and how we make our voices heard to create change. It is critical that the media industry takes action to address the gender gap in journalism and expert contributors if we are to have an equal say in the future of our society.”

You can read and download the full report here.

ENDS

About the study

The Gender News Gap is based on a survey by Women in Journalism and Man Bites Dog, with research design, data analysis and copywriting by Man Bites Dog. The report is based on opinion research amongst 1,200 UK journalists conducted in 2021. Research fieldwork was conducted by business research organisation, Coleman Parkes, using Cision’s journalist database and design was provided by Big Helping. We would like to thank all parties for their pro bono support.

About Women in Journalism

Founded by author, journalist and celebrated newspaper editor, Eve Pollard, OBE, almost 30 years ago, Women in Journalism is a not-for-profit organisation that provides guidance and support for its members. They are from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, at every stage of their careers, and work across all platforms around the UK and overseas.

For more information, visit www.womeninjournalism.co.uk

About Man Bites Dog

Claire Mason is Founder and CEO of Man Bites Dog, the strategic ideas company. They develop future thinking for intelligent brands to position them as leaders in the next economy. Man Bites Dog is an award-winning global thought leadership consultancy specialising in compelling content, campaigns and communications to tell their clients’ stories. Man Bites Dog is campaigning to close the Gender Say Gap – the lack of female and diverse expert authorities consulted in the media – find out more here: www.gendersaygap.com

Man Bites Dog recently partnered with Women in Journalism to conduct a major new study on gender inequality in UK journalism and media. Our research examines the opinions of 1,200 UK journalists on gender diversity in journalism and its impact on female journalists, the media and society more broadly. The gender imbalance in media has a significant impact on business, editorial and content decisions, influencing which stories are told and who tells them.

"Although 96% of journalists in the UK believe the media has a duty to reflect the diversity of the society it serves, fewer than one in five (19%) female journalists believe that there is adequate gender diversity in journalism."

Our report, The Gender News Gap: The Impact of Inequality in Journalism & Media explores the challenges of career progression for women in journalism, the lack of action on gender diversity in the media, the compounding effect of Covid-19 and the impact of the Gender News Gap on female representation and the use of female subject matter experts.

So what is The Gender News Gap? To put it simply, it’s the lack of gender diversity in UK journalism.

When we embarked together on this study with Women in Journalism we wanted to see how far we had progressed towards gender equality in the media. We expected to see less discrimination, more opportunities, higher pay.

But what we found to our shock and disappointment was that the gender gap in journalism still stubbornly persists and that we are still a very long way from representative gender balance in UK media.

Our research reveals that fewer than one in five female journalists believe that there is adequate gender diversity in UK journalism and less than a quarter of all UK journalists rate gender diversity in the media as good or excellent.

Our research identifies some of the greatest challenges facing women in journalism right now.

Access to the profession is a challenge: nearly half (46%) of UK journalists believe access to the journalism profession is more difficult for women than men and nearly three-quarters (73%) believe it’s harder still for women from ethnic minorities.

But the greatest challenge for women in journalism is career progression. A shocking three-quarters of UK journalists – male and female – believe that career progression in journalism is more difficult for women than men.

There is a cocktail of causes behind the stalling of women’s careers, the greatest of which is leadership and culture.

Tone from the top is key: 70% of female journalists complain that the most senior roles remain dominated by men. Three-quarters of male and female journalists alike also call out a ‘macho and intimidating culture’ that isn’t serving the profession. This is particularly true in national newspapers, where more than eight in 10 (81%) journalists complain about a ‘macho’ workplace culture.

This is creating what we call a ‘glass newsroom’ that excludes women from ‘high status’ journalism specialisms – such as hard news, business, finance and politics.

One of the most interesting findings in our research was that The Gender News Gap is pervasive for women in journalism but, in most instances, like a pane of glass it’s just not seen by their male colleagues – which makes raising awareness a key priority.

The experience of discrimination is very real for female journalists both in terms of career progression, where more than half (52%) have experienced discrimination in their career based on gender but also age and social class.

The majority of women in journalism report they have experienced pay discrimination – with more than half believing they are paid less than male colleagues for equivalent work and performance.

Working practices in the media are also a career limiting factor for working parents and carers. Eight in ten UK journalists believe industry expectations, such as inflexible schedules and unsocial hours, make it harder for parents to return to work full-time after having children, rising to 9 in 10 in London. 83% of female journalists believe that women are more likely to take freelance roles due to unsocial hours and work expectations being incompatible with home demands – this was felt most strongly in consumer titles, nationals and B2B publications.

The media has widely reported the devastating impact of the pandemic on gender equality across society – and their own profession is no exception. Our research reveals that COVID-19 has compounded the challenges facing women in journalism, with women taking on greater domestic duties at the expense of their careers and mental health, and female journalists being more likely to have been furloughed during the pandemic.

But why does this Gender News Gap matter?

Equality in journalism is a critical foundation for a more equal society.

The overwhelming majority of UK journalists believe that diversity in journalism is important. More than 9 in 10 UK journalists believe the media has a duty to reflect the diversity of the society it serves. The media is the mirror in which society sees itself and we need that mirror to be fair and accurate rather than distorted and partial.

Journalists believe the media needs a diversity of journalists to be relevant and interesting to readers. It’s good business! And journalists male and female believe a balance between male and female journalists is essential to properly represent key societal issues and issues that concern audiences.

The critical issue for me is the impact of inequality on representation. The Gender News Gap directly impacts how women and diverse communities are represented, how our experiences and concerns are reflected, and how we make our voices heard to create change.

For some years now my team at Man Bites Dog has been campaigning to close the Gender Say Gap – a term I coined to highlight the invisibility of women and other diverse groups as expert authorities in business and in public life.

The Gender News Gap is itself a key contributor to the Gender Say Gap: the lack of female expert contributors consulted by the media. According to more than four in five women in journalism, female journalists and female expert contributors highlight issues that would otherwise be underrepresented.

Public opinion and policy are shaped by the people who decide which stories are told and who tells them. If we don’t hear from women as journalists and expert authorities – we’re only hearing half the story.

This lack of ‘say equality’ is creating huge gaps in information, representation and policy – which means that issues from discrimination to violence can go unspoken and ignored for decades.

Recent movements like #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and Reclaim These Streets have spotlighted issues including harassment, discrimination, violence and safety that have been underrepresented in mainstream media. Increasing the diversity of journalists and editors and changing culture is critical to surfacing these issues, generating understanding and empathy, and influencing policy and social change.

But while diversity and inclusion is high on the news agenda, sadly our research shows that it’s not yet high on the newsroom agenda – we are just not seeing action for change.

This area is worthy of a deeper and more detailed study in its own right, but our indicative data is telling.

Less than a quarter of media directors participating in our study report that their organisation measures the gender or ethnic diversity of their journalist workforce.

And less than a third of journalists work in organisations that have set targets to improve the representation of female expert contributors.

We would like to call on media organisations, women and men in journalism to recognise the Gender News Gap and take action in leadership, culture change and peer support to make journalism the inclusive profession our society needs.

Women in Journalism and Man Bites Dog are calling for journalists to take part in one of the largest studies of gender diversity in UK journalism ever conducted.  

The survey aims to find answers to how the lives of women in the profession have changed, whether or not they have more power in editorial decision-making, whether the media’s use of female subject matter experts has grown or decreased, and what the impact of the pandemic has been on women. 

WIJ is the UK’s leading campaigning, networking and training organisation for female journalists and mentors over 100 journalists a year and runs online and real events with high- profile women in the media. Its chair, Daily Mirror editor Alison Phillips, said: “There has rarely been a more important time for good journalism. And yet the pressures on journalism – particularly for women – continue to grow. This survey will give us a deeper understanding of what’s really going on in the UK media and how best we can support those journalists working within it.” 

Women in Journalism is partnering with global thought leadership consultancy, Man Bites Dog, on the study. Man Bites Dog’s Founder and CEO Claire Mason said: “Man Bites Dog is campaigning to close the Gender Say Gap – the underrepresentation of women and diverse experts in business and public life. This study is critical in establishing the role of female journalists in deciding whose stories are told, how women are represented as leaders and experts, and shaping a more inclusive news and policy agenda.” 

The survey, created by WIJ and Man Bites Dog and supported by business research organisation, Coleman Parkes, is targeted at male and female journalists working in all areas and levels of the industry. The survey will be distributed to WIJ’s 900+ members and to 30,000 subscribers to the PR software and services company, CISION, which is also supporting the campaign. 

If you are a journalist, you can take part in the survey here: https://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix/p482065095026.aspx?ISID=1  

 

This International Women’s Day, I Choose to Challenge the Gender Say Gap. The Gender Say Gap is a term I coined to highlight the invisibility of women and diverse leaders in business and in public life.

Women are disproportionately the experts in the room. We are more likely to have a degree and to work in a high status profession - so why aren’t we hearing from female authority figures?

When you look at subject matter experts women are still outnumbered 4-1 as keynote conference speakers and up to 5-1 as expert contributors in the media. 

Three years ago I started speaking out about the Gender Say Gap and calling for Say Equality in the experts who represent us. After the the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, I was hopeful that the powerful legacy of movements like #MeToo, and more recently #BlackLivesMatter, could bring about powerful change.

But over the last year, in the wake of the global pandemic, the lack of female and diverse expert voices has been a reminder of how far we have yet to go.

As Covid-19 was in large part a crisis in public health - an area where women and professionals from a BAME background are overrepresented - we might have expected to hear from a diversity of experts. But the media still turned overwhelmingly to white men as figures of medical and social authority, falling into a pattern of consulting male experts on matters of policy and strategy, and frontline female and BAME contributors on the practical implications. 

We can’t simply blame the media. Organisations have a responsibility to provide a diversity of experts. City University’s excellent Expert Women Project found that a key driver of the widening Gender Say Gap in the UK is the lack of female Ministers running departments. Journalists keen to promote diversity have complained that prior to last December, a remarkable 6 months of Government Covid Briefings were led exclusively by men. This is not only driving a Gender Say Gap of up to 5:1 on flagship news programmes, it is normalising lack of representation of women in authority. Business can play a key role in bridging the Gender Say Gap by providing more women and diverse experts to ensure greater balance.  

Not hearing from expert female and diverse leaders means we’re only getting half the story - which leaves us facing the consequences of huge gaps in information, representation and policy. 

As we seek to attract more diverse talent into sectors where women and diverse professionals are underrepresented, we must shine a brighter spotlight on role models.

The next generation can’t be what they can’t see, we must demand Say Equality and ensure our ideas and voices are heard.  

I Choose To Challenge:

So I’m excited to share our new BBC Masterclass “Make Yourself Heard” - in which we share how you can find your voice and beat the Gender Say Gap. You can watch the masterclass here.

As part of the BBC News 100 Women Programme, this masterclass shares more about the Gender Say Gap and how to have your say. I was honored to kick off the debate followed by a roundtable chaired by the BBC’s Nuala McGovern featuring the truly inspiring Deepa Narayan, Alma Arzate and Enam Asiama. 

Choose to Challenge - and together we can close the Gender Say Gap.

Man Bites Dog created The Gender Say Gap® campaign to address the underrepresentation of women and diverse experts in business and in public life. Today we are proud to announce our partnership with the PR Council of America as the first step in taking this movement global.

Claire Mason, Founder and CEO of Man Bites Dog said: “Increasing the visibility of women and diverse experts in business and in public life is critical to building an inclusive future. We are delighted that the PR Council is taking this important step to close the Say Gap and make diverse experts seen and heard to inspire the next generation. Thank you to everyone who has supported our mission and given us platforms on both sides of the pond.”

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Timed to International Women’s Day (March 8), the PR Council (PRC) has launched Close the Say Gap. Through this program, the PRC and its Member agencies have set a goal to collectively train at least 5,000 women as spokespersons for conferences, events and media interviews.

According to Kim Sample, PRC President, “The Gender Pay Gap has widespread awareness, but little attention has been paid to one of the underlying causes: The Say Gap. Women, especially women of color, have low visibility as experts in business and public life.”

“We have been excited to involve the industry in solving this problem since Claire Mason, CEO of strategic communications consultancy Man Bites Dog first shared her thought leadership on the problem last year,” Sample said. “IWD is the perfect U.S. launchpad for our agencies to create measurable change.”

An analysis by Talkwalker conducted specifically for Close the Say Gap, reveals that women were quoted in 32.9% of U.S. media coverage during the last six months while men were featured in 67.1%. “The public relations industry – as the gatekeepers and promoters of subject matter experts (SMEs) – can play a huge role in correcting this,” Sample says.

The issue is not a lack of expert women across every industry and sector: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women hold almost 52% of all management and professional-level jobs, and the National Association of Women Business Owners documents 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Further, 64% of new women-owned businesses were started by women of color last year.

“When women aren’t being seen as the experts we are, we don’t win the better jobs nor command the higher salaries. And worse, still, is the situation for young women and girls not yet in the workforce because you can’t be what you can’t see,” according to Heather Kernahan, PRC Board Member and Hotwire North America CEO. Hotwire intends to train 2,020 women this year in celebration of Hotwire’s 20th anniversary, according to Kernahan. 

The PRC’s Member agencies will champion the initiative in a number of ways:

About the Gender Say Gap®

About PR Council
Established in 1998, the PR Council (PRC) is composed of America’s premier global, midsize, regional and specialty agencies across every discipline and practice. It is the leading trade association for agencies, designed to empower the present and next generation of communications professionals, industry innovators and business leaders through education, events and industry resources. The PRC’s active members from over 110 leading U.S. agencies represent more than 80% (est.) of all U.S. PR firm revenues and employ over 12,000 professionals.

Gender equality is having a moment. One hundred years after women were granted the vote, we have finally seen the statue of a woman, suffragist Millicent Fawcett, join the 11 men in Parliament Square. We have heard women speak out against sexual harassment with the #MeToo movement and we have tried to measure our inequality of worth and opportunity by reporting the Gender Pay Gap.

But this is not equality. One statue is not enough. There is a much bigger issue at play - which is the absence of women’s ideas and voices in society. It’s time we talked about The Gender SAY Gap.

The absence of female voices, ideas and insights is the elephant in every room: from the newsroom, where we write and feature in just a fraction of the news; to our underrepresentation in the boardroom and the editing room, where even Hollywood’s leading ladies lack parity of dialogue. What are we teaching our children about women’s right to speak?

Society has failed to acknowledge a quiet revolution. For the last decade women have outnumbered men in high status professions. We are disproportionately the experts in the room, so why aren’t we hearing from female authorities?

Humanity is facing existential challenges, from mitigating climate change and geopolitical conflict, to how we ensure AI delivers a brighter future, not a more unequal one. These are big questions that deserve big answers - which means we need to hear from a diversity of voices.

Bridging The Gender SAY Gap is not a luxury. Women’s invisibility and silence comes at great cost in terms of our own wasted potential and because we are depriving society of our valuable ideas - and the ideas of the next generation who can’t aspire to be what they can’t see and hear from us. And the consequence is that women are missing from public life. Eight out of ten British students can’t name a famous woman working in technology. Is that because we don’t exist, or because of The Gender SAY Gap?

The absence of women as thinkers and even more so, as speakers, for their organisations has to be called out and addressed. I know most of us aren’t glory seekers. We expect our work to speak for itself, but trust me - it won’t. There is great power in being associated with your own signature idea. To have a drum that’s yours and keep on beating it, that’s how we create change. If you believe in your idea, you are its best champion. Because sharing your ideas - making them travel - is as important than having the ideas in the first place.

 

 

We have a tremendous opportunity today to make a change in women’s visibility as thought leaders and speakers for their organisations. The supply of brilliant women is there: we are the experts in the room. The demand from companies, Government and media is there: organisations want your ideas and would be justifiably proud to have you represent them. Us elephants in the room are getting harder to ignore and if we want to make this year a milestone for gender equality not a just a moment, we need a surge of female voices to redress the balance.

The statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square holds a placard which reads: “Courage calls to courage everywhere” - the quote continues invisibly: “and its voice cannot be denied.” The world needs a diversity of ideas. I urge you to be seen and heard: stand up and have your say. And together, we can close The Gender SAY Gap.

The world needs a diversity of ideas - which means women and all diverse groups need to stand up and speak out. If you would like to find out more, benchmark your organisation’s Gender SAY Gap or take action to increase the diversity of your thought leaders and speakers, we’d love to hear from you. Be part of the movement: contact us at [email protected], or watch the full speech at the House of Commons.

Gender equality is having a moment. One hundred years after women were granted the vote, we have finally seen the statue of a woman join the 11 men in Parliament Square. We have heard women speak out against sexual harassment with the #MeToo movement and we have tried to measure our inequality of worth and opportunity by reporting the Gender Pay Gap.

But this is not equality. One statue is not enough. There is a much bigger issue at play - which is the absence of women’s ideas and voices in society. It’s time we talked about The Gender SAY Gap.

The absence of female voices, ideas and insights is the elephant in every room: from the newsroom, where we write and feature in just a fraction of the news; to our underrepresentation in the boardroom and the editing room, where even Hollywood’s leading ladies lack parity of dialogue. What are we teaching our children about women’s right to speak?

Society has failed to acknowledge a quiet revolution. For the last decade women have outnumbered men in high status professions. We are disproportionately the experts in the room, so why aren’t we hearing from female authorities?

The absence of women as thinkers and speakers for their organisations has to be called out and addressed. The supply of brilliant women is there: we are the experts in the room. The demand from companies, Government and media is there: organisations want your ideas and would be justifiably proud to have you represent them. Us elephants in the room are getting harder to ignore and if we want to make this year a milestone for gender equality not a just a moment, we need a surge of female voices to redress the balance.

The world needs a diversity of ideas. I urge you to be seen and heard: stand up and have your say.

And together, we can close The Gender SAY Gap. The world needs a diversity of ideas - which means women and all diverse groups need to stand up and speak out. If you would like to find out more, benchmark your organisation’s Gender SAY Gap or take action to increase the diversity of your thought leaders and speakers, we’d love to hear from you. Be part of the movement: contact us at [email protected], or read Claire's blog post on the topic.

Campaign

The Gender Say Gap

For some years now, we have been campaigning to close The Gender Say Gap, a term we coined to highlight the invisibility of women and diverse leaders as expert authorities in business and public life.

View Campaign
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