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Please note that the conference date is provisional and subject to change due to the epidemiological situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not open a fee payment system until we are sure we can host the event. Please do not book flights and accommodation before the conference date is confirmed by the organizer.

20 November 2021

Leeds, United Kingdom

Venue: Queens Hotel, City Square, Leeds, LS1 1PJ


Professor Ángeles Moreno, University Rey Juan Carlos Madrid, Spain

Factors affecting Women’s Leadership in the Strategic Communication Industry: An Overview of Diverse International Contexts

Dr Bey-Ling Sha, California State University Fullerton, United States

Gender and Identity


In the age of post-feminism when many are trying to argue that feminism is no longer needed because women have reached equality through the introduction of legislation and entry of women to all professions, the reality shows a different story. Women politicians, for example, are still scrutinised based on their looks and objectified. For example, in March 2017 British Daily Mail splashed a cover page screaming, ‘Never mind Brexit, who won the Legs-it’. The cover page was commenting on the meeting of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Besides, many professions are still running according to masculine work patterns and thus many workplaces are still places for blokes. For example, in newsrooms women cannot succeed in obtaining editorial positions as the profession is still largely masculine with men reporting on politics, the main news of the day and business while women are still confined to lifestyle, food and health. However, when traditional women topics enter the agenda then we see male journalists writing about it. Also, female journalists hardly have any role models given the fact women who succeed in journalism become so bloke-if it becomes difficult for younger women to look up and see a role model or a type of women they may want to become in the future (Miller, 2014; Gallagher, 2017; Topic, 2018; Franks, 2013). The situation is similar in other professions, both those that feminised (e.g. nursing, teaching, public relations, advertising) as well as in traditionally masculine professions (e.g. construction, banking, finance) (Crewe & Wang, 2018; Siu & Kai-ming Au, 1997; Sandikci, 1998; Patterson et al, 2009; Kemp, 2017; Gee, 2017; Suggett, 2018; Topić, 2020). In public relations, scholars speak of the feminisation of the industry that saw women entering PR industry in higher numbers but because of it, the salaries diminished and even though women form the majority of the workforce they still face issues such as glass ceiling and the wage gap. In some countries, the number of women started to decline after a decade of the profession being feminized (CIPR, 2018). These are just a few examples from a few industries, but the situation is the same (or worse) elsewhere.

The societies are still based on patriarchal values. For example, even though it is legally possible for men to take paternal leaves and stay at home to take care of children and household, it is still women who have these requests approved more often than men, which testifies that patriarchal views of expected roles are still present. Besides, in some countries, women are still banned from exercising basic rights such as the right to vote, work in all positions and even the right to drive. While many men experience family violence, it is still women who mostly suffer from this type of abuse, while those men who do suffer from it fear to report it due to the expectation that the men are the boss in the house. Nevertheless, with the rise of Far-Right political candidates and public speakers started to question Feminism and argue that it fulfilled its purpose, while at the same time re-introducing old prejudices and practices against women where an emphasis is based on their appearance, birth-giving, etc.

COVID-19 that resulted in global lockdowns in 2020, with no end to the pandemic anticipated at the time of opening this call for papers, also has a potential to severely impact women. For example, it is well-known that women mostly work part-time and it is a question to what extent women lost jobs due to pandemic job losses. Some analyses already showed that the lockdown is hurting women with many women academics decreasing their academic production whilst men increased it, women reporting exhaustion because of having to look for children during the lockdown, domestic abuse skyrocketed, etc.

The questions the conference addresses are what is the position of women in a challenging world marked with the rise of the Far Right and the global pandemic and what can be done to reverse the trend that worsens the position of women and undermines decades of feminist activism?

Papers are invited (but not limited to) for the following panels:

Women and the global pandemic

Women in lookdown: narratives, experiences and effects of the lockdown on career, mental wellbeing and personal relationships

Working-class women: issues and perspectives

Middle-class women: issues and perspectives

Women and Career progress

Socialism, Marxism and Women


Women and the rise of the Far-Right

Women and labour

Women and discrimination

Women and sexual violence

Women and religion

Women in the media

Women and politics

Women and sexuality

Theory and methodology in women’s studies

Women and reproductive rights

Prospective participants are also welcome to submit proposals for their own panels. Both researchers and practitioners are welcome to submit paper proposals.

Submissions of abstracts (up to 500 words) with an email contact should be sent to by 15 September 2021. We will confirm the registration dates once we can confirm the conference dates, which depends on the situation with the pandemic.

The Conference fee is £180, and it includes,

The registration fee

Conference bag and folder with materials

Access to the newsletter, and electronic editions of the Centre

Opportunity for participating in future activities of the Centre (research & co-editing volumes)

Meals and drinks

WLAN during the conference

Certificate of attendance


A special issue of journals will be edited and published in an Intellect journal. The topic of the special journal and the journal selection depends on conference submissions and the review process. From last year’s conferences, two special issues are currently being edited,

The Journal of Popular Television (Intellect), special issue topic ‘Women and Girls in Popular Television in the Age of Post-Feminism’ (eds. M. Topić & M. J. Cunha)

Facta Universitatis: Series Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology and History (University of Niš), special issue topic ‘#metoo movement: past, present and what next? (ed. M. Topić). The issue can be found here:

Participants are responsible for finding funding to cover transportation and accommodation costs during the whole period of the conference. This applies to both presenting and non-presenting participants. We will not discriminate based on the origin and/or methodological/paradigmatic approach of prospective conference participants.

The conference is a grassroots initiative led by Dr Martina Topić ( Martina can be contacted on

The conference usually has five to six panels, and we can organise parallel sessions for panels (up to two parallel sessions per day).

Visa Information

The Centre will issue a Visa letter to participants with UK entry clearance requirement.


Ángeles Moreno is a professor at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and currently executive director of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA). She leads the Latin American Communication Monitor. Her awards include Best Paper Award EUPRERA 2013, Faculty Top Research Award PRSA 2012 and Top Paper Award ICA2006. She is the president of EUPRERA, the largest public relations professional association in Europe and a chair of Latin American European Communications Monitor, as well as a full member of the European Communications Monitor consortium. She currently leads the EUPRERA project on Communicating COVID-19 and she is the lead of the Spanish team in the EUPRERA Women in Public Relations project exploring the position of women in public relations in Europe.

Bey-Ling Sha, PhD, APR, is a higher education leader whose work has influenced public relations scholarship, education and practice. Dr Sha’s primary research programme examines the intersection of identity and public relations. She is the 2018 winner of the Institute for Public Relations’ Pathfinder Award, a lifetime achievement award recognizing an original programme of scholarly research. Her other research areas include international public relations, activism, and gender. Dr Sha’s scholarly work has been published in Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Promotion Management, as well as various book chapters. She serves as the 2016-2021 editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Relations Research, the pre-eminent scholarly journal in the discipline. Prior to becoming a full-time educator, Dr Sha worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Census Bureau, where she helped oversee the execution and evaluation of the promotional campaign for the 2000 census. The census campaign won a 2001 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from PRSA. Dr Sha has also done paid and pro bono consulting work in public relations, with such clients as Microsoft Corp., Perrier-Vittel, and Premier Aircraft Sales, Inc., among other organizations. The San Diego Chapter of PRSA named Dr Sha its 2007 Professional of the Year. Her pro bono professional work won the 2010 Outstanding Advocacy Award from the National PTA® and the 2005 President’s Award from the International Listening Association. She holds a PhD in mass communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is Accredited in Public Relations by the Universal Accreditation Board.