In between drafting a press release and amending (more accurately, rewriting) the chairman’s statement for some September year-end results, I am aghast to read just how unequal the PR workplace is for women.
Despite two thirds of the PR industry being female, at board director level this drops to 42% and, worst of all, we earn a massive 23% less than men. Grrr. I’ve long suspected that my male director colleagues earn more than me. This is now proof.
Somewhat demotivated, I text my colleague Sophie to see if she is free for a long lunch. She is. Before I can get out, my very hacked-off House of Fraser store owner client calls for a chat about the latest Mike Ashley goings- on. “Did you see, he’s expecting his overall rent bill to be cut by half,” he exclaims. “Some landlords will get no rent at all, while some will actually get an increase. I’m going to be one of the losers – tell me, who’s putting the rent up?”
I assure him that while he, as a landlord, can’t win the PR battle with the poor, embattled retail owner, he can, at least, claim a draw by keeping his House of Frasers open.
I grab my All Saints jacket – a Black Friday buy – and head off for a moan with Sophie.
“Henrietta, I’m fed up too. I’m handing in my notice next Monday and setting up my own firm. Come and join me.”
As we attack the second bottle of Viognier, we decide the firm’s name will be the rather ironic ‘Sh! PR’ (using our initials). It may be the wine talking. But to coin the phrase that journalists tell me they should never ever use, “only time will tell”.