Grunig, Toth, & Hon (2008) emphasized that the 1900s witnessed an inflow of women into the PR industry, venturing beyond the traditional occupational areas considered as “feminine” such as teaching and nursing.
Yet, that shifts from males to females practitioners domination is problems of diminishing status and salary become pervasive in any fields especially for public relations industry. Wrigley (2002) mentioned that has been the only one to focus directly on the glass ceiling phenomenon in public relations and invisible obstacle such as sex bias, unequal pay, denial of promotion, different treatment in the workplace between men and women, and men feeling threatened by women.Numerous investigations have been conducted to determine how gender affects the PR professionals The issue of treatment is one of such concern for female PR officers as they receive lower salaries, have less opportunities for management positions, and are less favoured than their male partners during the hiring process, even though women consist almost 70% of the PR practitioners of the PR industry.
In addition, the higher the position level, the higher the percentage of men (Zenger & Folkman, 2012). One of the explanations for this phenomenon is a cultural stereotype of leadership that remains strongly men across many countries and nations (Koenig et al, 2011).PR Week reported that female practitioners made approximately 38% less than their male partners. A study in the early nineties shows that more than 80% of public relations students are women (Toth & Grunig, 2009). With the threat of the feminization of the public relations industry and the large number of new public relations practitioners are female, to understanding how the glass ceiling affects female practitioners is a crucial to maintaining the credibility and viability of the industry. Since the early eighties, when women began emerging in droves in the corporate workforce, there have been numerous accounts of gender based discrimination.Broom and Dozier (1986) concluded that women less interest to hold managerial roles and they were more content in the role of a public relations technician.
According to this critic, one can reason that women are more content in the tasks they perform in the public relations field and lack aspire in the tasks of more managerial roles. Men are favored and have more opportunities to excel in managerial role because they received more job training for management positions. Many studies on gender inequities in the PR industry were conducted in the other countries, while only a limited number of studies were conducted in Malaysia. As such, this study aims to examine glass ceiling towards female PR practitioners in terms of incomes, roles, functions, and career prospects.