Female Leaders See Positive Impact On Profile Says Women In PR Survey

The profile of women as leaders has been a positive development of the COVID19 pandemic. That’s the findings of a new survey being released today on International Women’s Day 2023.

The survey was conducted by Women in PR NI, an independent and not-for-profit initiative, run by communication advisers, Michelle Canning and Sara McCracken.

Michelle and Sara, both Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) said:

“Today marks our fifth year in existence, nearly three of which were impacted by the COVID pandemic. It is fitting that we mark today, IWD 2023, by kickstarting the conversation on how the last three years has impacted women across the fields of communications, media and public relations.

“Societally, we all know that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women negatively so naturally, the question for us was what had been the impact for women working in our industry.  And it has really presented a mixed bag of findings.

“We can see the really positive impact of women in leadership roles during the pandemic and the public spotlight on how they have effectively taken on the challenges presented to them.

“In our own industry, many women have excelled, are energised and are reaping the rewards.  Yet there are others who feel overworked, excluded and invisible. There are those who, as a result of the pandemic, have decided to reset the clock, find a better work-life balance and reprioritise.

“Worryingly, nearly 20 per cent of our members felt burnt out. Whilst that may be a small number given the size of our survey, we only have to look to the recent resignations of high-profile women in public life, Canadian PM Jacinda Ardern and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, to recognise that this is a huge issue that stretches beyond our industry.”


Over half of the women surveyed said they felt the profile of professional females had been impacted positively over the past three years. A huge 70% of women who responded said their career had not been stalled by the pandemic and had, in fact, progressed with 68% reporting they have been promoted.

Hybrid working and flexibility are now the norm, according to women in the communications industry. 71% say they have a better work/life balance and an overwhelming majority, 90%, reporting that their employers had flexible working policies.

Despite this welcome development, a fifth of women surveyed felt burnt out.  

Michelle and Sara added:

“For the women we speak to, flexible working practices need to be the norm and employers need to embrace the non-traditional working patterns that have emerged since the pandemic.

“The prevailing issues still need to be tackled such as affordable childcare and lack of support for carers. The reality is that it is predominantly women who shoulder the responsibility, whether it is children or dependents, and until those issues are addressed then it will continue to have a detrimental impact on women, families, society.

“And we also need to focus on how women can succeed and achieve without having to sacrifice too much. Women in PR is intent on ensuring that in post-pandemic 2023 women in our industry will be given the opportunity to reconnect, re-energise and re-establish networks. These findings will form the basis for a tailored bespoke programme of workshops and events that we will deliver.

If you want to join Women in PR contact them at [email protected] or follow them on Twitter @womeninprni.

Scroll to Top