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PR Women with Influence

Breaking Through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges


Juan Meng and Marlene S. Neill

PR Women with Influence: Breaking Through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges makes a unique and timely contribution by exploring how women in public relations navigate through attitudinal, structural and social barriers in advancing their leadership roles. The book is thoroughly grounded in rich empirical evidence gained through two phases of a funded research project conducted in the field. Phase I involves 51 in-depth interviews with current female leaders in public relations and Phase II captures women’s perceptions on gender-related barriers in leadership advancement by recruiting a national panel of female public relations professionals. 

Results presented in this book provide a compelling, current picture of women and leadership in public relations. By emphasizing our discussion on key issues and barriers as related to women in PR and their leadership advancement, the authors call for real actions and change to develop a constructive ecosystem within the organization to embrace leadership for women in PR. 

Given its sharp topic focus, wealth of empirical data, and the relevance of the topic to today’s public relations profession, this book is suitable for different audiences both nationally and globally. Such audiences include but are not limited to public relations scholars, educators and professionals, both leaders and emerging leaders, men and women, young professionals, women of color, and public relations majors. This book is appropriate for senior-level undergraduate and graduate courses in public relations and communication management to facilitate critical thinking, leadership development, and gender-related topic discussion. 

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We would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who helped us carry out this research project and produce this book. Foremost, we are especially grateful to The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at the Penn State University and The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama for sponsoring and funding the research project. Both Centers were excited about the project from our initial discussion of it.

We want to thank the women executives and practitioners in the field of public relations and communication who set aside time to be interviewed and surveyed for this study. Their experiences, thoughtful responses, and rich insights illuminate this book.

We would like to acknowledge all of the diligent and talented people who are part of the AEJMC—Peter Lang Scholarsourcing Series, Volume 6. As always, special thanks goes to Carolyn Bronstein, the Series Editor, and the members of the Series Editorial Board, including Carolyn Kitch, Radhika Parameswaran, Gregory Pitts, Katie R. Place, and Meghan Sanders, for their guidance, comprehensive reviews, valuable critiques, and encouragement throughout this process. Erika Hendrix, the former Acquisitions Editor for Media, Communication, and Performing Arts at Peter Lang, worked with us closely to ensure the successful transition of this project from the editorial committee to the production. Their ←xix | xx→time, energy, and oversight contributed significantly to the quality of the Series and ensured its success.

For their very...

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