The Women in PR Mentoring Programme was set up in 2014 as a joint initiative with PRWeek UK to identify, nurture and inspire the next generation of female leaders. We are proud that in the last six years, the scheme has supported 75 ambitious women from a range of backgrounds, and with an array of career goals and challenges, to achieve their individual goals.
Women can face different challenges to men as they step up the PR career ladder, whether they are working in-house, in an agency or as a freelance practitioner. These include navigating a boardroom often dominated by men, negotiating equal pay or juggling work and family or caring responsibilities.
Our scheme ensures that women can confidently and successfully overcome their unique challenges in order to progress in their careers to achieve their ultimate ambitions. We do this by matching 15 candidates with 15 women who are operating in very senior positions within the UK PR industry.
The mentoring board
The mentoring board changes every year as members step down and we recruit more women keen to give back to the industry by supporting future female leaders. We have aimed to create a diverse board of mentors whose collective background and experience allows us to support a very broad range of needs from our mentees.
Graduates from the mentoring programme have gone on to secure top level positions in the industry. There is a great community of mentoring scheme alumni including three members of the current Women in PR Committee: Claire Foster, Sarah Samee and Anna Geffert. The feedback we receive regarding the impact on individual careers is fantastic and many stories have been published on our blog.
The mentoring programme lasts for 12 months starting in June each year and involves three full mentoring sessions plus ad-hoc discretionary support.
The 2019/20 criteria for entry were as follows:
- Leadership potential (demonstrable experience to date; a leader of the future)
- Clear objectives for career (and how access to a mentor will help her get there, including helping to overcome any perceived obstacles)
- Industry engagement (demonstrable effort to engage in key issues and effect change – for example, being an active member of WPR, or helping / driving new initiatives to help improve our industry)
Are you interested?
If you are interested in applying for a position on the mentoring programme, please follow @WIPRUK on Twitter or join our LinkedIn Group where the application details including criteria for entry will be published in March each year.