Just 3% of corporate communications directors have taken paid non-executive roles, according to a report from consultancy Cayhill Partners.
The figures emerged despite all participants in the survey saying they would like to move into non-executive positions. In total, 20% of those participants held non-executive posts, but most of those were unpaid.
Pay for directors ranged from £6,000 for a non-executive role in a property company, to more than £100,000 for board work at a FTSE 100 oil and gas company.
Cayhill’s report said: “There is a view that communications is a specialist function and is not seen as either strategic or business critical. This despite the increasing importance of reputation, trust and advocacy across all areas of an organisation.
“Communications is often relegated to a support role and it takes a strong strategic player to break through, even when trying to move laterally across an organisation.”
The report added: “There remains a perception that communications directors do not possess intellectual rigour outside of their area of expertise, which is partly driven by the behaviours of some within the profession itself and is partly legacy.
“Many communications directors are acutely aware of this perception and whilst most rail against it, these negative connotations still exist.”