Based on U.S News and World Report emphasized that Public Relations are among the most rapidly developing in our world and it is also considered as the”best jobs” which are ranking third in the Best Creative & Media Jobs 2016 list. In spite of its popularity, this evidently progressive industry lags behind when it comes to progressing the majority of its’ professional stakeholders which is women (Hart, 2016). Women just hold around 30 percent of the best positions in the industry and they make up around 70 percent of the PR workforce. It’s worth investigating these numbers from established research that proposes women have more distinctive challenges accomplishing leadership positions compared to their male partners. It’s obvious showed that women in PR industry still face a “glass ceiling” problem. Glass ceiling is a name that we call it as the “invisible barrier”.
Glass ceiling is refers to blocks women from achieving further success and prevents advancement of women in their professional lives (Hart, 2016). According to a statement in early August 2016 made by Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) reported that based on their discrimination online survey that polled a total of 222 women from across Malaysia, discrimination against pregnant women remains pervasive in the Malaysian workplace with more than 40 percent of women polled that they experienced job discrimination due to their pregnancy (Heang Lee, 2016). According to the PRWeek, Bloom, Gross & Associates Salary Survey (2016) also reported that the annual median salary of male PR practitioners can be up to $45,000 and it is obviously higher than their female practitioners. According to the Tenth Malaysian Plan (2011) stated that malaysian women are holding academically qualified but they just stand for 46 percent of the working population, they are still underrepresented in best management position with respect to job functions, income earned, and career prospects. In 2008 there is only 7.
1% of women were CEOs and 6.1% of women were corporate directors, while from 2005 to 2009 female board representation in government-linked companies was between 11 and 14%. Over the decades, women who are working in the public relations industry are striving to improve themselves by obtaining essential qualifications in the hope of securing a better job and obtaining a higher management position. This number of women in the public relations industry has increased, and a shift is seen today in the number of women in the profession. Nevertheless, men still dominate the managerial positions and holding higher position than women.
Although Men and women in the same education level and working experience, women face more challenges in advancing their careers in public relations compared with men.