Celebrating Women’s History Month
We’ve come a long way, but...
As a Black female executive in the field of public relations, Women’s History Month holds particular significance for me. This is a time to not only celebrate the contributions of women, but also to recognize the many challenges that women still face in the workplace and in society as well. For Black women, these challenges are often compounded by the intersectionality of race and gender. When I consider the microaggressions endured by Black women – whether in the workplace or in business – we still have more work to do.
And yet, Women’s History Month provides another welcome opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of Black women to the field of public relations. Black women have been at the forefront of campaigns, communications and creative and have played a crucial role in shaping the industry as we know it today?. Women like Betsy Plank, the first female president of the Public Relations Society of America, paved the way for more women in executive roles in the field. Black women like Angela Rye, Brittany Packnett, and Symone Sanders have used their platforms to advocate for change and to raise awareness about important issues. And I am proud of being named the first person of color as PR Practitioner of the Year here in Columbus by the Central Ohio Public Relations Chapter of PRSA.
According to a survey by the Holmes Report, the public relations industry has about 5 percent of PR professionals identifying as Black. This lack of diversity not only limits opportunities for Black women, but also limits the industry’s ability to effectively communicate with diverse audiences.
As Black female leaders in Public Relations, I believe it is our collective responsibility to advocate for diversity and inclusion in our field and in the workplace, and advocate and create economic opportunities for diverse business leaders. This means creating opportunities for women and people of color and also creating a culture that values and celebrates diversity. We must recognize that diversity is not just a box to be checked, but a crucial component of success in the field of public relations today.
Women’s History Month serves as a reminder to all of us of the progress that has been made, but also of the work that still needs to be done. As we celebrate the achievements of women during the month of March, we must also recognize the challenges that women, and particularly Black women, continue to face. Only by working together can we create a more inclusive and equitable world for all women.