How Women can Exceed in the Industry

4597296297_a1e4551019_z.jpgOne of my main incentives for this blog is to help inspire the next generation of women leaders and promote a gender balance in the workforce.

Public relations and communications is leading the way to equality. Women make up 63 percent of public relations specialists and 59 percent are PR managers. While this may seem like a gender imbalance in itself, with more woman in the field than men, it actually speaks louder than this.

Today, women are earning 60 percent of undergraduate and master’s degrees. They are better educated than men, statistics say. The learning doesn’t end with a degree though. To exceed women must continue to learn and be lifelong students. Here are ten helpful tips to make you exceed in the PR and communication industry, along with some positive words from women in the business:

  1. Move past the stereotypes:
    We are accustomed to the idea that men are in charge because growing up that was a stereotype apparent in media. Nowadays, media is striving to reconstruct that stereotype. There will be workplace sexism but everyone’s responsible for ending this discrimination.
  2. Learn from your mistakes:
    You are only human, you will mess up. Don’t beat yourself up over it though, learn from it. “D’lish didn’t get the opportunity to cater at the level we are now without resilience -and serious dedication and determination over the past nine years. It took passion, standing tall, falling – and of course, getting back up again even prouder than before. And, opening myself to learning a lesson from each unique experience in the wild world of entrepreneurship and the food industry. That attitude has led my business to a high level of catering – doing what I love,” Rachel Goldman, Founder, Owner and Executive Chef, D’lish Intimate Catering.
  3. Go beyond the to-do list:
    You will have your daily to-do list, go beyond it. No one successful got there by doing JUST the everyday tasks. Stay the extra hours, work on an additional project, and take on assignments no one else would. Actions speak louder than words.
    “Success in the workplace really comes when you work outside of your job description. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try new ideas or create something new—they’ll push you over the edge and get you recognized in your workplace, as well as in your industry,” Stacey Acevero, social media community manager at Vocus/PR Web.
  4. Take risks:
    New opportunities and challenges can evoke the same emotion: fear. Make what you want out of them but you need to challenge yourself. Taking these risks will help you grow by challenging yourself and will help you advance in your career.
    “Take risks and speak up. Try things that you are uncomfortable doing. It’s going to feel awkward at first, but it will start to feel natural. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to take on challenges and who can help you see and appreciate your strengths,” Sarah Bird, CEO of Moz.
  5. Curiosity breeds innovation:
    I honestly could not have said it any better:
    “My natural tendency to want to know how something works and demystify a topic by learning more has propelled my career, instilled confidence, and put me on a path I could have never imagined. My general curiosity has made me challenge myself and look at life through the lens of “hmmm that’s interesting, I wonder if I could do that. It can’t be that hard.” This attitude has brought out in me the marathoner, the snowboarder, the knitter, the mother, the wife, the business leader, the Harvard student, the writer, the teacher, and the cook. I can’t wait to see what’s next,” Kelly Manthey, VP Strategy & Innovation, Solstice Mobile.
  6. Destroy the barriers:
    Social and self-barriers are constructed illusions, destroy them.
    “Some of the main barriers that I see women facing are the ones they create for themselves…Women need to believe in themselves and be aware of how much they have to offer – and not apologize for it,” Susan Chambers, EVP, Global People Division for Walmart.
  7. Be persistent:
    This goes for every aspect of your life; in the pursuit of your goals, your career and your life. Remember you have to earn your spot. “Without being willing to fail and continually get back again, I would never have been able to find the right market and establish my product within it,” Katelyn Gleason, CEO & Cofounder of Eligible.
  8. Surround yourself with support:
    You can’t do it by yourself. Surround yourself with people that inspire and empower you – they will be the ones to push you, as well as the ones to stand by your side when all is wrong. You want people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
    “The best advice I can give a young woman starting a career in PR is to surround herself with other supportive, professional women. One way to do that is to join a communications association. I started with the Public Relations Student Society of America, continued with the Public Relations Society of America and now PRSA’s Counselors Academy,” Dana Hughens, CEO of Clairemont Communications.
  9. Ask questions:
    Don’t be hesitant, be assertive. Listen carefully, throw your hand up because there is no such thing as a dumb question. Questions spark conversation, and even though it may seem like a dumb question to you it may spark someone else’s creative thought.
  10. Believe in yourself:
    You are your hardest critic…but confidence is key. Don’t allow yourself to think that you are not eligible for that position or you are under qualified. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible. Be yourself, put on a smile and go get em.
    “Be yourself and do not try to change your entire personality to conform to the corporate culture. Pretending to be someone you’re not drains your energy and can lead to failure if you show that you are uncomfortable with yourself. Belief in your self-worth, hard work, and a commitment to your career and company will go a long way toward helping you succeed,” Lillian Vernon, Founder of Lillian Vernon catalogs.

Diversity Among the Oscars

3001714270_c98d19f5d7_oInclusion, diversity, and equality. What does it mean to you? In today’s age, people still struggle with what it means, how it works and why it is necessary. As the 2016 Oscars awards approach and the nominees have been announced, it is apparent that the Academy still struggles with what inclusion, diversity and equality mean. It is a difficult conversation to be had but a necessary one at that.

For the second year in a row, the Academy has not nominated any African American actors. With four acting categories, 20 slots each, and the opportunity to recognize performers of color the Academy still failed to do so. Due to this reason, several celebrities such as Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee will not be attending the event.

One of the biggest movies of 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was led by John Boyegs, who plays Finn. As the leading role in the movie, it was a great disappointment that he was not nominated for an Oscar. As an African American actor, there is outrage saying that he was not nominated due to his race. Femi Oguns, Boyega’s agent, has been speaking on behalf of Boyega about the lack of diversity in the industry.

“These decision makers are normally white middle-class men who have not, in any way, invested an interest in trying to research, celebrate or understand other cultures,” Oguns told Newsbeat in an interview. “It’s reflected upon the world they live in, which is quite narrow-minded and not open to receiving other cultures for what they actually represent.”

The Academy has taken various approaches to diversify its members. This past July they invited 322 new members including David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and F.Gary Gray. Cheryl Boone-Issacs, the Academy president, said in a personal statement that regardless of the Academy’s stride for change in its makeup of members, “…change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly.” In addition, the Academy’s board of governors has issued a pledge to double the number of female and minority members within its ranks by 2020.

Although 6,300 people in the film industry partake in deciding the nominations for the Oscars, 94 percent are white and 77 percent are male. Chris Rock, an African American comedian, will be hosting the Oscars but it does not make up for the lack of black nominees and diversity in the Academy.

As seen in the world of communications and business, it’s not about getting the position but not having the opportunity. The nominees for this year’s Oscars are well-deserved but considering critically acclaimed movies such as “Straight Out of Compton” with an all-black cast received no nominations for actors or actresses is astounding. The lack of diversification, inclusion, and equality is not just seen in this event but in every aspect of life, whether it be gender, race, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation.

Women in Sports Media

2875951373_979f876244_oIt is inevitable that women entering sports media careers will face a patriarchal environment. While they may be accepted, some people are committed to forcing women out of this predominately “male zone.” Having an opinion on sports isn’t just for men anymore; women participate, watch, love, and work for sports. So why are they being patronized for their opinions, work, and presence in sports media?

Breaking into a career in sports media can be difficult, even more difficult if you are a woman. The sports media industry is 88.3 percent men. Although women are pushing their way into the industry, it is still an uphill battle. Women are judged unfairly and often not even considered because of the stigma that women “do not get sports.”

ESPN has put an effort to adding diversity to its workforce. It has launched eight Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including one specifically for women. ESPN is on the forefront of a social movement in sports media but the industry as a whole has a long way to go. Women receive harassment from viewers, athletes and even colleagues for being in a male-dominated field.

“For anyone in the public eye, social media can be an ugly place,” said Doris Burke, a veteran sideline reporter and color analyst for ESPN. “The tenor of the criticism and the pointed comments that are made at female journalists are certainly different. It can be disturbing to me how sexist the comments are, how personal, the value judgments that are made. There’s just a lot of ugliness.”

Being in sports media puts you on the social media chopping block when it comes to commentary. Fans will tear each other apart in the name of their favorite sports team, so there is no holding back when it is a woman stating her opinion of a sport. As an anchor for a Chicago sports radio station and a writer for The Cauldron, Julie Dicaro, has faced multiple forms of online threats and assaults. She writes about her experiences on being harassed online for stating her opinion and being a woman in the sports industry. In the article called “Threats. Vitriol. Hate. Ugly Truth About Women in Sports and Social Media,” she speaks on the threatening tweets directed at her to the point that she felt unsafe going to work.

Its hard enough for women to break the barrier into sports media but staying motivated to stay is the hard part. In addition to the criticism women receive while trying to make it in the industry is the sexism. In this industry, they must dress carefully and act conservatively or else there is no hope of being taken seriously. The Bleacher Report’s annual segment on the “50 Hottest Female Sports Broadcasters from Around the World,” is just one example of the sexually derogatory occurring in the industry. The insults are always in regards to the women’s appearance and their sexuality. Women lose their credibility because instead of focusing on the work they produce, people focus on their physical appearance and femininity. People often challenge women’s knowledge of sports solely on their gender.

While the industry has made some strides to change, it is indeed a work in progress. You need to have thick skin to be in this field and especially dedication.

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 the push to bring light to female leaders in the workforce. 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 female leaders. Out of the 2,500 participants, only 17.8 percent are women. While women hold approximately 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, there is only 14.6 percent that work at an executive level, 8.1 percent who are top earners, and 4.6 percent who are Fortune 500 CEOs. How come? It is a reality of the geopolitical and economic power today.

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. 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 lot to be done. 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.

Female Leaders in the Public Relations 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 creator 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 operating 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 is 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 Women President’s Organization.

Welcome to Faranism PR


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 until now. I am excited to finally try it because this is an opportunity for me to express my work interests at the same time allow 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, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle. This blog is my opportunity learn and grow in a different area of PR. On this blog, I want to talk about a subject that we can all learn from – feminism, female 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 Public Relations 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 Public Relations. Cheers to women in PR!