The Numbers Game: Where Are The Girls?

Andrace
Posted August 12, 2020

Most of my work-life so far had been spent in the field of higher education. Over the years, I participated in graduation ceremonies and even enjoyed the privilege of anchoring some of them. I have observed with keen interest, how the girls held the audience captivated with the number of prizes and awards they went home with. Many of those years, a girl was the best graduating student. However, in the workspace, those girls are nowhere to be found blazing the trail in leading positions.

Nevertheless, it is a new dispensation. This time, I am a student. I am nowhere near home. Everything is different. The countries, cultures, people, food, and many more. Except this- the game. It hasn’t changed! In my class of 16 at the 2nd Tier level of the International Communication programme at Vilnius University, Lithuania, only three were male. Unfortunately, all three did not complete the programme. In each of the groups I belonged during the same programme at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom, less than 10% were male. Yet, sadly, this may not reflect in the world of work, eventually.     

Howbeit, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is one of the global Public Relations professional bodies working hard to ensure progress on the issue of gender balance, especially in the public relations industry. The body has, among others, focused on gender pay, describing the issue as one which cannot be ignored as “over two-thirds of public relations practitioners are women,” Sarah Hall (2015), former president of the CIPR affirmed. Over two thirds? More than half? Then, you and I have this challenge of making an impact on this number. There should and must be a balance, a paradigm shift, and a game change. And in case you wondering what else can be done, let’s take a look together.

Don’t Wait:

Start or continue at your base. All over the world, Public Relations and Communications students are trained. For example, Robert Minton-Taylor, one of the celebrated 70 PR practitioners whom CIPR acknowledged as having had “outstanding or exemplary public relations practice” when the organisation turned 70 in 2018,  endorsed students of the PR Skills module of the Leeds Beckett University Business School, United Kingdom. These students from 16 countries of the world, were described as individuals with “great talent and inquisitive minds.” For someone who has had over half a century of experience in Public Relations and Journalism, with many high profile appointments and excellent service, his recommendation cannot be ignored. All over the world, great minds are nurtured daily. Should we just sit and wait for some global impact somewhere? No.

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               "The world is waiting for us to act in our own countries, from our own little corners."

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Hence, this call to action is to everyone, because we all need one another to thrive.

Act Decisively:

Already, the gender pay gap which the CIPR has on its burner has been mentioned earlier. Several other gender-related issues which would justify the numbers and create balance in the PR industry, especially at the top abound. Think about a small part or replicate what you have seen or heard before in from your own little space. It could be in proposing the gender policy or gender representation in any field, at any level, irrespective of how small or insignificant it seems. For example, the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC), managing the disbursement of funds on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, grants 50% of its Orange Knowledge Programme fellowships to women. Somebody or some group somewhere, someday, saw the need for this and kept on soliciting until it became embedded in the policy.

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                   "Advocacy begins from the least expected of places, doing ordinary things, before igniting at a greater level."

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Publicise:

Social Media has catalysed publicity in every sense. PR professionals are required to embrace social media more than ever before now. Use it. When any progress is made with advocacy on gender issues, blow your own trumpet. For once, let us stop to give ourselves the service of publicity. And even though it may seem that the numbers are still not close, always remind yourself that we should not widen that gap. One day, the high number of qualified girls who graduated all over the world would transcend the glass ceiling as desired. Howbeit, achieving success in this regard, is a task for all.      

 

 

This article was originally written in fulfillment of a PR module and published on emi.alawode.net

Comments 24

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Busayo Obisakin
Aug 12
Aug 12

YES! Breaking the glass ceiling is the task for us all. Thank you for sharing!
Love
Busayo

Andrace
Aug 12
Aug 12

Yes, Sis.! :) Together, we can.

Thank you too and keep staying safe.

Warm regards.

Hello, E.J.,

Thanks for sharing your published article with us. There are indeed women and girls who excel in academics, and yet when it comes to the world of work, companies prefer men.

In the Philippines, gender pay gap is present in the agricultural/labor sector where male farmers earn a higher wage than their female counterparts.

When it comes to professional career, the pay is the same. However, if there are only two applicants (one male, one female) with equal skill set, vying for the same position, the man usually gets hired.

Thank you for speaking up about this issue! You're a great writer! Please post more stories.

Andrace
Aug 12
Aug 12

Hi Kaye,
'Appreciate your kind comments and encouragement.

We'll keep at it together and gradually...we'll get to those stars through bolts and bars. :)

Thanks for all you do. Together, we can!

Yes, together, sis! The pleasure is mine. :)

More posts please. :D

lemonadelemon
Aug 13
Aug 13

True, lets change the world . Keep rocking ladies

Andrace
Aug 13
Aug 13

That's the spirit, Sis. Yes, we can! :)

Nini Mappo
Aug 14
Aug 14

Indeed, "where are the girls?"
Let's make them visible!

Thank you for such an informative piece Emi.

Andrace
Aug 16
Aug 16

Sure! :)

Thanks too, Nini. Enjoy a great week ahead.

Sophia Ngugi
Aug 14
Aug 14

Thanks for sharing. The disparities are worrying and we have to keep speaking out and also doing our part not to widening this gap

Andrace
Aug 16
Aug 16

Yes, Sophia. We must keep acting and refuse to be silenced.

Thanks, Sis. :)

Chi8629
Aug 14
Aug 14

Hello Beautiful Queen,
Hope you are doing good?
Thank you for sharing.

Andrace
Aug 16
Aug 16

Yes, I'm cool. Sure you're staying safe too? Thank you for all you do and enjoy a rewarding week ahead. :)

Chi8629
Aug 16
Aug 16

Good to know beautiful sister, yes I safe as well . Thank you . You are loved .

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Aug 15
Aug 15

Hello Emi Alowode,
thanks for sharing a article with good cited references to note that in the 21st century the world at large is very behind in gender inequality in the work place and in a lot of places if we can be dead on truthful. A worldwide problem in developed countries including USA. Same story different year in a patriarch society.
I am happy to see and read women stories from all over the world whom are launching their own businesses and companies especially during this global pandemic.
The time to take action is now. We are being nudged to discover the talent we have embedded in us and create a better world using education and technology to empower our worth in the workplace awaiting for no male boss to deny us.
Thank you for a good read,

Mama Queen

Andrace
Aug 16
Aug 16

Yes, Sis. We'll keep acting and praying for results.

In emerging economies, most women are forced not to realise the act of being silenced, because subjugation is embedded in culture and/or religion. Where there is abject poverty, food, shelter and clothing takes precedence. The woman becomes the 'beast of burden' and becomes apologetic for any success, as she concedes any encomium so as not to be seen as proud or haughty. That is why models should keep springing up in our communities. World Pulse is a community-builder where women have come a long way, truly. We aren't there yet, but together, we can.

Thank you for your insight about using education and technology. These are very powerful.

Big hugs. :)

Chidimma
Aug 16
Aug 16

You have said it all. I cannot agree less. Let's keep our voice heard and and make out presence visible.
Thanks for sharing.
Love
Chidimma

Andrace
Aug 16
Aug 16

Thank you so much, Sis. Together, we can! :)

Big hugs.

MUKABA ZAWADI
Aug 17
Aug 17

Start or continue at your base. All over the world, students in public relations and communications are being trained. good unity.

Andrace
Aug 17
Aug 17

Sure, Sis. That's the way to go, isn't it? Together, we can. :)

Metiege Noel Eve
Aug 17
Aug 17

Thank you for sharing and motivating more girls to climb highee

Andrace
Aug 17
Aug 17

Yeap. We've got this, Sis. :)

Big hugs.

buky_2
Aug 19
Aug 19

Thanks for this post. I am encouraged.

Andrace
Aug 19
Aug 19

Thank you for your kind words, Sis. God bless!