Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication


Journalism and Mass Communication

First Advisor

Tracy Lucht


The purpose of this research was to understand how gender has influenced the experiences of women in leadership positions in public relations. Data were collected through interviews with 10 women working in leadership positions in the public relations field and analyzed into themes. The findings revealed six major themes related to the experiences of these women leaders in public relations: (a) promotional barriers, (b) double standards for women, (c) pressure of stereotypes, (d) leadership styles, (e) female competition and bullying, and (f) optimism about the future. Findings revealed that these women think that gender has influenced the challenges and success they have faced in their careers; specifically, the participants described their challenges as promotional barriers as well as inequalities in salary and representation in leadership roles. The findings also indicated that these women think they are perceived as leaders in both a positive and negative light and believe a double standard exists between women and men leaders. Finally, the findings also revealed an issue with female competition in the form of workplace bullying. However, the participants see a shift happening in the field of public relations regarding gender issues, which they believe will benefit women.


Copyright Owner

Elizabeth Krugler



File Format


File Size

71 pages