If you listen closely, you can hear the sizzle of Australian recruiting firm Salt & Shein's butts on the barbie. To release a study that characterizes the PR industry as a "Pink Ghetto" is probably bad enough. But then to wager the utterly aboriginal statement,
"Girls and gay blokes gravitate to PR," [Josh Shein] said. "It's always been that way. I suspect it's because PR and corporate affairs is seen as a softer skill set in terms of judgment. It's more creative. And the softer skills set is more about influencing as opposed to, say, the sales function."
Well, Mr. Shein, you've successfully undone all of the positive image work and credibility that ambassadors like Russel Crowe and Mel Gibson have garnered for your country.
As a man who is not just in PR--but healthcare PR--I can honestly say...really? I hadn't noticed. I'm neither a "gay bloke" or a "girl," so I guess I'm a bit of an outsider on the pink, frilly fringes of this ghetto.
So be it. I could think of worse ghettos to be in, I guess.
I don't see the value of this kind of study, aside from lining consultants' pockets and making a splash with a stupid sound byte. Look at the job market at large (in this country, anyway) and you see that women account for a majority of the workforce--not just in PR.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women accounted for 51.5 percent of all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related occupations in 2011, including: Registered nurses (91.1 %), Medical and health services managers (72.5%), Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents (66.1%), Accountants & auditors (60.1%), Financial managers (53.2%), etc.
I wouldn't pretend to call those occupations "soft" or "creative." And I fail to see how these stats might be problematic, in terms of women (or an industry) being "taken seriously."
Maybe things Down Under are different. The toilet water does spin the opposite direction, after all. Let's just hope that it does so with enough force to carry off the remains of this worthless study.