Flexible talent

Although women are very well represented in PR and communications, there are too few senior female PR professionals, particularly in agencies. Unfortunately so many colleagues that I have worked with over the past 20 years have left the industry - nearly all of them women.

This huge loss of extremely experienced and talented people from our sector each year, whether temporary or permanently, is disheartening. PR agencies are often motivating and exciting places to work, but agency life is rarely conducive to having any sort of life or responsibility outside of work. As we grow older, life inevitably changes and many female PR professionals have moved to more open-minded industries that accept a more flexible way of working. I’m sure male counterparts experience a similar frustration, but there’s no doubt that this issue affects women more frequently.

Life changes - children are born, our parents age, we relocate - which inevitably means that our priorities shift. The non-flexible traditional agency environment makes accommodating anything other than a 10 hour day, five day office-based week very difficult. This is where the PR industry loses out and this is something we wanted to address when founding The Bright Hub.

This issue was again brought to the front of my mind when I discovered Woman in PR, an association that inspires women to reach their full potential. I am delighted to now be a member.

Everyone that works with us at The Bright Hub has chosen to leave the traditional agency setting. Each of us has the flexibility to ensure that our working days complement our lives – whether that’s because we have children or because we chose to live more than an hour from a city. We find new ways to communicate and connect, the upside of which eliminates the dreaded Monday morning status meetings (that often nearly run into the afternoon). Everyone on our team is more motivated and focused as a result because we’ve each been able to structure our working ways to make life more enjoyable. And the most important thing is that we deliver an exceptional service to our clients. We pride ourselves on delivering great communications programmes that are focused on results. The fact that we might not all work in a traditional environment actually helps us to better achieve this.

Women in PR’s objectives are to support gender balance in the boardroom and nurture future female talent. I genuinely believe that, together, we can change the way the industry operates and is viewed by employers and employees alike. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!