In response to “A Push for Gender Equality at the Davos World Economic Forum, and Beyond”

Impression of the making of the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in DavosWho are the women that come to mind when I say world leaders? Can you name one besides the president’s wife and Oprah? Sadly, the answer is typically no. In “A Push for Gender Equality at the Davos World Economic Forum, and Beyond” published in the New York Times by Alexandra Stevenson, the article highlights women trying to bring light to women in the workforce with powerful titles. Teresa Whitmarsh, head of the Washington State Investment Board and Elizabeth Nyamayaro, head of the U.N. Women’s HeForShe campaign are two women who are the definition of world leaders. Due to their roles, each year they are invited to the summit for business typhoons, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In this annual meeting, there will be 2,500 participants from all over the world hosting heads of state, central bankers, chief executives and billionaire investors.

As these two powerful women enter this event they are overwhelmed by the severe underrepresentation of women. Out of the 2,500 participants, only 17.8 percent are women. While women hold approximately 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, there are only 14.6 percent that are executive officers, 8.1 percent are top earners and 4.6 percent are Fortune 500 CEOs. Why is this? It is the reality that of the geopolitical and economic power today: Men are almost always the ones at the top.

It is not an issue of these power companies not being able to find women willing to run these operations. “There is no job women cannot do. This is not a talent deficit, it’s an opportunity deficit and a matter of cultural insensitivity,” says Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., an American civil rights activist. Both Ms. Nyamayaro and Ms. Whitmarsh, are working on increasing the ratio of women to men at the forum and at the top of the financial world. Ms. Nyamayro is working internally to reach a solution by working with global companies such as AccorHotels, Barclays, Twitter, Mckinsey & Company Schneider Electric, and Unilever. By using disclosed information from the companies regarding the gender and racial makeup of their employees, these statistics serve as a reference point to producing change. While Ms. Whitmarsh, meets with private equity industry makers to make the case that placing more women in decision-making positions will lead to better performance and financial returns.

“Investments are expected to be diversified, so why is that logic not applied to gender,” Ms. Whitmarsh asked.

Although the United States was number six in women’s economic participation and opportunity on the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Gender Gap Index out of 136 countries, there is still a ways to go. The Center for American Progress came out with a report saying that it is now estimated that at the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in leadership roles in our country. Women can continue to outnumber men on college campuses, in earning undergraduate business degrees but they will not move up to the leadership positions of prominence and power that are well-deserved.

This is not just an American issue, it’s a world issue and the World Economic Forum brings it to a painful reality that women are pushed out and not even considered for these leadership positions.

Women Who Lead the PR Industry

8558110882_d2820558bd_zToday’s women are taking the public relations industry to new heights. Out of the 21,000 members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), nearly three-fourths are women. In recent years, women-owned PR firms continue to experience greater success than those owned by men. Here are some of the top women executives that are helping shape the PR and communications industry:

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson:
As the founder and creater for The BrainTrust, a network of connected agencies that help brands innovate, Ferguson runs the communications world. Prior to The BrainTrust, she was the co-founder and chief operation officer of Digital Brand Architects (DBA). She has grown it into the go-to firm for influencer management. Through working with emerging technology, she has been at the forefront of the social evolution for over 15 years. She saw that the industry was in need of change and so she took the lead. She has created companies from scratch and left her (THE) dream job working with Ralph Lauren to start DBA.

Gini Deitrich:
On my blogroll you will see a blog named “Spin Sucks” this socially innovative and award winning PR and marketing blog is brought to you by Gini Deitrich. As the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm, she delivers keynotes, panel discussion, and workshops throughout North America and Europe. As one of the few woman CEOs in the PR business, she is a power-role model. Recently, she was named one of the best PR professionals in the business by Klout and TechCrunch.

Susan Gilchrist:
Leading the Brunswick Group across 23 offices in 14 countries as the Group Chief Executive would be the PR legend, Susan Gilchrist. Of the top ten globally ranked PR firms, Brunswick is the only one lead by a woman. She has been among Business Insider’s “25 Most Influential People in PR” and has been regularly ranked among leaders in the industry. In addition, she is a founding supporter in the U.S. of the 30% Club, a group devoted to increasing gender balance across organizations and specifically boardrooms.

Karen Van Bergen:
While landing the title of CEO of Porter Novelli, Karen Van Bergen had to deal with some internal turmoil at the company. Several of the other senior executives left the company, and frankly left Van Bergen hanging. It didn’t stop her though, she revamped the company even when others believed she couldn’t. She is a firm believer in gender imbalance within the industry and appears determined to lead a fundamental change.

Margery Kraus:
As the founder and CEO of APCO Worldwide, a global communications firm, she has transformed the industry. She pioneered one of the industry’s earliest practices in corporate responsibility and partnerships. APCO began as one small office in Washington and has now grown to a multinational firm throughout the world due to her efforts. In 2004, she led a management buy-out of her firm making APCO one of the largest privately owned communication firms in the world. She is passionate about women in the workforce as well, she is the chairman of the board for the Women President’s Organization.

Welcome to Faranism PR

 

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Photo by: Niuton May

Good day,
Welcome to Faraism PR. My name is Mikaela Farasyn. I have never made a blog, wrote for a blog or kept a blog, though I am excited to finally try it. I feel this is an opportunity for me to express my work interests at the same time allowing me to express myself. So I am going to dive head first into it.

I love PR..specifically nonprofit PR. It’s a passion of mine that was cultivated when I was a senior year in high school. When I was 14, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, a form of childhood arthritis. I stayed optimistic through it by using dance as my therapy. I continued my asserted optimistic character and was recognized for it. In 2010, I was the Grand Marshal for the Bend Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, raising awareness and being an example that children and teenagers can be diagnosed with arthritis too. Then as a high school senior, I joined the public relations committee for the event. I helped manage the social media sites and acted as a primary spokesperson for the event. It was covered by the Bend Bulletin and had a record number of participants. It entered me into the world of PR.

If you look at my resume right now, it’s almost all nonprofit PR work. Although recently, I have decided to dabble in other subjects of PR such as food and beverage, entertainment and lifestyle. This blog is my opportunity learn and grow myself in a different area of PR. On this blog, I want to talk about a subject that we can all learn from: feminism, women empowerment, and women in PR.  The blog PR in your Pajamas has inspired me to dive into this subject. I became interested in this subject through obvious reasons being I am a woman in the workforce. It is a subject that is spoken passionately about in our generation but not specifically in PR. For the next ten weeks, I will be exploring this subject and learning along the way about women power roles in the PR industry. I want to dedicate a blog to women in the PR Industry.

What can you learn from this blog? The PR Industry is dominated by women. Anywhere from 60 to 85 percent of PR workers are women and they hold half of the field’s managerial positions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The PR industry is leading the way to equality, as an empowering career for women. The premise of this blog will be centered around promoting and being a place for women in the PR Industry.

Faranism PR, comes from my last name plus feminism plus PR, the three things that will make up this blog. I am excited to explore this subject and have the opportunity to talk about it along the way.

So here it is: Faranism PR. Cheers to women in PR!