Today the CIPR has announced a whole host of measures to support women who are on maternity leave, about to go on maternity leave, or returning from maternity leave. We believe we are the first professional body to do so in such a far reaching way.
As President Elect, and co-chair of the Professional Development and Membership Committee I am hugely proud of this work – and I am saddened that it’s still necessary. But through the State of the Profession research, members and non-members working in the PR and communications industry told us gender inequality, maternity issues and the gender pay gap were real problems, today.
* Gender inequality in the workplace is against the law. The equal pay act of 1970 is law and if you want to find a way of exciting your daughters and sons about it, take them along to the new musical version of Made in Dagenham – then remind them on the way home, that for many women the gender pay gap is still a huge reality. In PR it’s a significant issue.
A few weeks ago I went to meet Ruby McGregor Smith, who has given her support to our new maternity leave package, which is fantastic. Ruby and I discussed the many other things the CIPR can do, with support from the Women’s Business Council . These include looking at the gender pay gap in more detail as well as exploring other ways we can enable our members to raise concerns and propose solutions to some of the barriers for women in the work place.
We’ve much more to do and the CIPR is exceptionally grateful to Sarah Hall, a fellow board member for driving this work forward, with support from Stephen Waddington and I – and the great team at CIPR HQ, especially Andy Ross.