The theory developed because of two broad concerns:
a. The impact on the field of public relations that occurs when the number of practitioners who are female is larger than the numbers who are male b. A desire for a positive and constructive role for women in public relations “Linda Aldoory wrote that the impact of gender and diversity on public relations has become widespread, and today it affects practitioners, scholars and audiences” (2003, p. 222). With her analysis, she used the “Velvet Ghetto Study” as her reference. The Velvet Ghetto is the first comprehensive gender study in public relations funded by International Association of Business Communicators Foundation.
This project, conducted in the U.S. and Canada, included surveys, depth interviews with senior communication professionals, and eight focus groups, as well analyses of data on salaries and trends in the IABC Profile studies from 1979 to 1985. The study shows that women are increasingly filling the role of communication “technicians” rather than managers. It also showed that women are paid less than men, and gender is the strongest predictor of low salary. Studies from San Diego, IABC, and pr reporter all reflect substantial differences in salaries between women and men, even when such factors as experience and education are taken into consideration. It also found out that professions diminished in salary and status if they moved from male to female dominance.
Since the velvet ghetto study, there had been a lot of studies to describe the status of women in PR. An example is when Elizabeth Toth initiated the development of a body of scholarship that led to a new feminist paradigm that empowered women.
Another PR issue that led to a lot of study about feminization is the Glass Ceiling Effect. This is the invisible barriers that keep women from getting promoted to higher roles or status in the company. Although 70% of the Public Relations profession is comprised of women, most of them are in lower ranks.