This abstract is summarized by the IPR Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the original journal article published in the Public Relations Inquiry.

Katie R. Place, Ph.D., studied how female public relations practitioners define gender and how gender plays a role in the public relations industry.

In-depth interviews were conducted with 45 female public relations professionals.

Key Findings

Participants defined gender:

  • In binary terms (male/female) as a function of biological sex.
  • As a social construct.
  • Their definitions of gender commonly involved the terms “perceive”, “construct”, and “cultural concept.”
  • As a phenomenon linked to age, race, and ethnicity.
  • Age was a critical factor regarding how women “experienced” gender in the workplace.
  • Younger participants saw gender as contributing to women’s sense of gender discrimination.
  • Race and gender simultaneously affected respondents’ sense of professionalism and visibility, illustrating the effects of intersectionality.

Read more to discover how gender impacts women’s experiences in the public relations industry.

Place, K. R., Ph.D. (2015). Binaries, continuums, and intersections: Women public relations professionals’ understandings of gender. Public Relations Inquiry, 4(1), 61-78. doi:DOI: 10.1177/2046147X14563430


Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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