Harrogate-based Raucous Agency has pledged commitment to accelerating gender equality by launching a new ‘PR for Women’ service.
2020 has hit women especially hard and has set back progress made towards equality. The specialist ‘PR for Women’ service provides women and their businesses a promotional support package which includes defining bold key messages and a creating range of communication strategies to highlight expertise, showcase achievements, and challenge gender bias.
Raucous Agency director Rachel Auty founded Women On Tap CIC in 2017 – a beer equality initiative – and has plenty of experience of working with women to give them a platform in spaces where they are otherwise a minority. She explains where the inspiration for this new service came from:
“Over the years I’ve spoken to a number of women who are frustrated they can’t seem to be heard and feel they are being discredited or held back. All of these women have been experts in their field, many business founders who have pioneered new work. Unfortunately gender bias and outright misogyny is still rife, and unconscious bias is something we all need to check in ourselves”
However, Rachel believes there’s another side to the equality issue which also needs addressing:
“The interrelated problem here is also that women have for so long been made to feel they don’t and shouldn’t have a voice; that they don’t belong in business or the pub or film or sport or wherever. It’s taken years for so many women to find the confidence to speak out, and many of us continue to use apologetic phrases in work situations. Most women still find it hard to big themselves up and shout about how great they are. It’s still not really in our nature. We can help not only with the bigging up part, but also with the confidence building. We want more women to actively acknowledge the brilliant things they do and be bold and proud about who they are.”
In the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, the World Economic Forum predicted that at the current rate of change it would take 99 years for there to be social and economic gender parity. Also in the report – which ranks countries on key measures of gender equality – the UK slipped from 15th to 21st place, with poor political representation for women and the gender pay gap cited.
The events of 2020 have been a further setback in equality progress. According to the 2020 Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey & Company, women – especially women of colour – are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed as a result of Covid-19. What’s more, childcare support systems such as school and childcare have been upended, and as a result more than 1 in 4 women are now said to be considering downshifting careers or leaving the workforce completely. In addition, a new report from the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London shows women have been marginalised in Covid-19 media coverage in almost every subject, with the exception of traditionally female issues including childcare, domestic violence, and education.
Rachel believes a big part of the solution is making women more visible “We need to not only get back on track but also accelerate gender equality. To do this women who are experts in their field need to be seen and heard; women who are role models for the next generations need putting in the spotlight; and women need to be championed and feel they belong in leadership roles. We help women find a voice, the confidence and profile to enable them to progress their work and inspire other women. We have a lot of work to do but we can all play our part.”
Find out more at www.weareraucous.co/pr-for-