The experiences of women in a public relations firm: A phenomenological explication

Diane S. Krider, Peter G. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper uses the phenomenological method to explicate the experiences of women in a public relations firm. Seven women from a major midwestern public relations firm were interviewed to gain a deeper understanding of the experience of being a woman in public relations during the feminization of the profession. From the interviews, four initial clusters emerged: perceptions of public relations work prior to entering the field, realities of the nature of the work, language as a shaper of reality, and conflicting roles. These clusters were further reduced to create two thematic clusters: the struggle with the changing role of women in society and the experience of being a woman in public relations. It was found that the essence of the experience of being a woman in public relations is in the negotiation and reconciliation of the ascribed roles and achieved roles. Women enter the workplace being, first, a woman, and, second, a daughter. In these roles, expectations and accepted behaviors are already formed, however, the added dimension of the work environment creates another role leading to internal conflict when defining the experience of being a woman in public relations. Although the roles appear to be unique and mutually exclusive, they are tightly woven together to create the essence of the experience of being a woman in public relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Business Communication
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

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