AcadémicasPR: A New Network for Comms Women Academics

In this blog, Dr Ileana Zeler, Dr Isabel Ruiz-Mora and Dr Andrea Oliveira write about a new network they formed in Spain

AcadémicasPR is an open, collaborative, and supportive network developed by women who identified that the academic role of women working in PR was not a subject of scientific study in the field of communication/PR. The network started in Spain with Isabel Ruiz-Mora, Ileana Zeler and Andrea Oliveira. It quickly spread to other countries, adding leading women comms academics such as Gisela Goncalves from Portugal, Carolina Carbone from Argentina and Andreia Athaydes from Brazil.

This network aims to study and disseminate the work and research of and on women academics in public relations. Besides, it seeks to identify and make visible women scholars in public relations, to promote the generation of scientific knowledge on the topic, and to foster synergies between women researchers and academics in public relations, which contribute to strengthening their presence and leadership in the academic field.

Following our trajectories and research activity, we have observed a lack of adequate representation of public relations in the academic context of gender studies. Reviewing the literature on women in PR, we have detected that scientific research on this topic has increased in recent years (Moreno et al., 2021; Topić et al., 2019). Although the research originated in the United States (Topić et al., 2019), studies in the field have expanded to different geographical contexts, such as Europe[1] and Latin America[2]. However, in Spain, there are still few studies on the role of women researchers in the field of communication (Izquierdo et al., 2021; Segado et al., 2021); and in the specific case of PR, the study of women has focused mainly on a professional perspective (Moreno et al., 2018). 

Given this situation, we have seen the need to broaden our knowledge of the critical gender perspective in the academic field of PR in Spain, as well as in other countries/regions. In addition, we aim to identify the influence of women in developing and consolidating the scientific knowledge of public relations. Thus, through the AcadémicasPR network, in the first stage, we intend to understand the environments close to the academic activity previously developed by the participants (Europe, Latin America and North America). And in the second phase, we aspire to generate nodes of encounter and exchanges with the realities of female academics in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

The group of women who are part of the network is actively working in Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina by participating in conferences and meetings, designing new projects and creating synergies with other networks, such as the EUPRERA network “Women in PR”. Our initial studies address the leadership of women academics in Spain, and the role of women in PR through a critical analysis of Spanish and the glass ceiling and public relations in Argentina.

We hope that AcadémicasPR will become a space for meeting, exchange and reflection and a path for all academic women working in public relations. Join us!

To join, visit the network’s website:

[1] E.g., UK (Topić, 2021; Yeomans, 2019), Georgia (Kaladze et al., 2020), Greece (Triantafillidou & Yannas, 2021), Croatia (Polić & Holy, 2021), Spain (Moreno et al., 2018), Russia (Erzikova & Berger, 2016).

[2] E.g., Costa Rica (Khalil Tolosa et al., 2018), Brazil (Molleda & Ferguson, 2004), Argentina (Carbone & Canella Tsuji, 2020).

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