Title: GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN THE PUBLIC RELATIONS INDUSTRY: A COMPARISON BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE PRACTITIONER’S ROLE MANAGEMENT POSITION. Chapter 1 – Introduction1.1 IntroductionIn this chapter one, the researcher will talk about background of study about the topic and also provide research problem, objective of study, research question and the definition of the terms of glass ceiling. The purpose to study this topic is to determine whether glass ceiling blocks women from achieving top management positions. Besides that, this study also is to find out the income levels and management position in public relations industry due to gender differences. 1.2 Research BackgroundAs shown in U.S News and World Report emphasized that Public Relations are among the most rapidly developing job in our world and it is also considered as the”best jobs” which are ranking number three in the Best Creative & Media Jobs 2016 list. In spite of its popularity, this evidently progressive industry lags behind when it comes to progressing the majority of its’ professional public relations which is women (Flackable, 2016). Obviously, women just hold around thirty percent of the best positions in the industry even though they make up around seventy percent of the public relations industry. It’s worth investigating these numbers from established research that proposes women have more distinctive challenges accomplishing leadership positions compared to their male public relations practitioners. From this situation, it’s obviously showed that women still face a “glass ceiling” problem in public relations industry. Glass ceiling is a name that we call it as the “invisible barrier” in the workplace. Glass ceiling also is refers to blocks women from achieving further success and prevents advancement of women in their professional lives (Flackable, 2016). Based on a statement in early August 2016 made by Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) reported that their gender discrimination through online survey and investigated that there have a total number of 222 women from across Malaysia. However, that discrimination against pregnant women remains pervasive in the Malaysian workplace with more than 40 percent. These number of the women said that they have experienced of gender discrimination in their office due to their pregnancy (News Straits Times 2016). Through the PRWeek, Bloom, Gross & Associates Salary Survey (2016) also reported that the annual median salary of male PR practitioners can be up to $45,000 and it is obviously higher than their female practitioners (PRWeek, 2016). From the Tenth Malaysian Plan 2011 stated that malaysian women are holding academically qualified but they just stand for 46 percent of the working population, they are still underrepresented in best management position with respect to job functions, income earned, and career prospects. In 2008 there is only 7.1% of women were CEOs and 6.1% of women were corporate directors, while from 2005 to 2009 female board representation in government-linked companies was between eleven and 14% (MyDomaine, 2016)Over the decades, women who are working in the public relations industry are striving to improve themselves by obtaining essential qualifications in the hope of securing a better job and obtaining a higher management position. This number of women in the public relations industry has increased, and a shift is seen today in the number of women in the profession. Nevertheless, men still dominate the managerial management positions and men is always holding higher position than women. Although Men and women in the same education level and working experience, women face more challenges in advancing their careers in public relations compared with men. 1.3 Research ProblemGrunig, 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.1.4 Research ObjectivesRO 1: To examine whether male practitioners have more opportunity than female practitioners work in public relations field.RO 2: To analyse whether is glass ceiling being a barrier that prevents women to achieve higher position in a workplace.RO 3: To examine income levels and career prospects in PR different due to gender differences. 1.5 Research QuestionsRQ 1: Why male practitioners have more opportunity than female practitioners?RQ 2: What are the different roles and functions between male and female PR practitioners industry?RQ 3: Are income levels and career prospects in PR different due to gender differences?