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If you don’t drink pink prosecco and idolise Samantha Jones, are you even a ‘PR gal’ though?

By Rebecca Sweeney, Account Manager

Without question, the PR world is notorious for being female-dominated and No Brainer is no exception. We’re currently at a 60/40 percentage split, which sits among the most gender-equal workforces I’ve seen during my five years working in communications.

Our senior leadership team also operates a 60/40 split in favour of women, which instils great confidence in me for the future. Clearly, No Brainer is a place where feisty females can flourish, right?

It’s worth noting that our company founders are both men; something that’s extremely common across public relations and other industries. So how can we work to address this and tackle the gender-bias that exists not just in PR, but every sector across the world? For me, the answer is simple – true, honest girl power.

At No Brainer, International Women’s Day is about so much more than sharing feminist quotes on our Instagram stories. It’s about coming together to celebrate our incredible achievements as individuals, as a team, and as women.

PR? Like Samantha Jones or that lady from Ab Fab?

I love working in this industry, but it’s safe to say the term “PR gal” comes with its negative connotations. Our Instagram followers recently shared their thoughts on what it means to work in PR, and it gave us some great insights into outside perceptions of the industry.

There was the good…

“You present companies or individuals in the best possible light and are always charismatic.”

“Good at communicating and building trusting relationships.”

The bad…

“Girls who love to socialise and drink prosecco, while entertaining clients.”

“An office full of glamorous girls who love to gossip.”

The expected…

“You have to be an extrovert.”

“SAMANTHA JONES!!!”

And the damn right, true!

“Male-dominated leadership.”

“The assumption that young women will never be as good as their older, male colleagues.”

It’s accurate to say there are a lot of men in powerful positions across our sector, but there are also increasingly more women setting up their own communications businesses and providing boss babe inspiration to women like me.

Sometimes, it takes balls to be a woman…

A recent survey by LinkedIn found that men were likely to apply for a job if they had 60% of the desired requirements. In contrast, women were only likely to apply for the same role if they could demonstrate 100% of the desired skills and experience. This begs the question, are we, as women, underselling ourselves in a way that men simply don’t?

When I joined No Brainer in summer 2019, I distinctly remember the Managing Director, Gary, asking a typical interview question – where did I see myself in ten years?

I knew the answer immediately – in ten years, I wanted to work for myself. Yet, I hesitated for a split second and I’m not sure why? Was it because the goal seemed too ambitious for a woman in her mid-20s? Was I scared I wouldn’t get the role because they’d want to hire somebody who’d be comfortable as an Account Manager forever?

I answered the question honestly and Gary praised me for being “somebody with vision.” The main thing I took from that conversation was that my mindset needed to change – it’s okay for women to shout about their life goals and be proud of them.

Sisters supporting sisters

I believe, if women are to ever achieve complete equality, we must continue to empower one another. If there’s a tribe of successful ladies telling somebody they can get that dream job, they deserve that promotion, or can even run that marathon, the individual can start to believe it too.

It’s incredible to be surrounded by so many exciting, creative women (and the men are alright too!) who inspire me every day to become a better PR manager, colleague and friend. It sounds cliché, but when we come together, awesome things happen.

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