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, since its inception, 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 candidates with 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 and support future female leaders. The diverse backgrounds and experiences of our board of mentors allow us to support the very broad range of needs from our mentees.

The Impact

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 four members of the current Women in PR Committee: Sarah Samee, Anna Geffert, Alison Hicks and Addy Frederick. The feedback we receive regarding the impact on individual careers is fantastic and many stories have been published on our blog.

Programme details

The mentoring programme lasts for 12 months and involves three full mentoring sessions plus ad-hoc discretionary support. The 2020/21 programme will start in August.

The 2020/21 criteria:

The programme is open to female practitioners of public relations who have 5 or more years’ experience and/or are working at middle-management or director level or equivalent, who can demonstrate…

  1. Leadership potential (demonstrable experience to date; a leader of the future)
  2. Clear objectives for career (and how access to a mentor will help her get there, including helping to overcome any perceived obstacles)
  3. Industry engagement (demonstrable effort to engage in key issues and effect change – for example, being an active member of a trade body, or helping / driving new initiatives to help improve our industry)


Women in PR and PR Week have now announced the mentees for the 2020 Mentoring Programme, in what was the most successful year yet, with over 130 application submissions. Designed to highlight and reinforce their mission to improve equality and diversity across the industry by increasing the number and diversity of women in leadership roles, the committee was delighted by the response to this year’s programme.

Given the volume of applicants and appetite for support this year,  five extra places were added, taking the scheme from 25 to 30 matches. This will help propel the careers of even more talented women, helping to accelerate their progress into leadership positions.

In response to the high volume of applications, Women in PR will be running a ‘Mentoring Extended’ virtual event on 24 September to offer support to all who applied. The interactive, online session will address some of the common challenges they outlined and look at how to build confidence and grow a communications business.

2020 Mentors 2020 Mentees
Amanda Allan, head of brand pr, BA Natasha Fish, head of pr & communications at Stylus Innovation + Advisory
Ruth Allchurch, uk managing director, WE Communications Laura Sibley, director, Hope & Glory PR
Rachel Bell, chairman, The Academy Media Group Rebecca Zeitlin, head of communications & external affairs, Hybrid Air Vehicles LTD
Graz Belli, co-founder, Third City Lara Tuboku-Metzger, senior account director, DEVRIES GLOBAL
Evadney Campbell MBE, Lecturer, broadcast journalist, trainer and PR consultant Lola Rokosu, group sales & marketing manager, CH&CO
Gay Collins, founding partner, Montfort Communications Patricia Gondim, interim head of media relations, Association for Financial Markets in Europe
Misha Dhanak, founder & former CEO, The Romans Holly Sutton, communications partner at ZBP Associates
Asad Dhunna, founder, The Unmistakables Monira Matin, senior account manager, Whistle PR
Seb Dilleyston, joint MD, Hope&Glory Emily Gosen, junior creative, Ketchum London
Victoria Ford, director, Perago Wales Georgina Callé, senior manager, corporate affairs at Weber Shandwick
Rachel Friend, chief executive officer, W Communications Emily Coen, senior corporate comms manager EMEA, Hilton
Nicola Green, director of corporate affairs, O2 Kirstie Ebbs, pr manager, National Governance Association
David Holdstock, director of communications, LGA Alex Rowe, associate director, BCW Global
Molly Hooper Aldridge, former global ceo and co-founder, M&C Saatchi PR Aimee Postle, consultant, Aimee Postle Consulting
Ali Jeremy, director of communications and engagement, The Royal Parks Kate Davis, PR manager at Alzheimer’s Society
Roxanne Kalha, MD The Romans Julie Burley, former head of communications to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Effie Kanyua, director of pr & comms, Hearst UK Kajal Shah, senior account manager, The PHA Group
Ronke Lawal, founder, Ariatu PR Amy Lockwood, UK communications director,
Annabel Lloyd, freelance consultant Meera Trivedi, account director, 33Seconds
Doyel Maitra, group communications director and board member Catherine Haywood, marketing manager, CliniMed Ltd
Michele Moore Duhen, senior pr manager, Capgemini Kelly Ashridge, senior press officer, Edelman
Emily Morgan, MD, consumer, The Red Consultancy Tanya Pennells, account director, Nelson Bostock Group Unlimited
Ginny Paton, managing partner, Iris Lucy Emery, senior PR, events & advocacy manager, William Grant & Sons
Tanya Ridd, director of communications, international, Snap Inc. Ewa Lewszyk, account director, Headland Consultancy
Sarah Samee, group head of external communications, Lloyd’s Register Francesca Carpanini, (formerly) campaigns director, Scruffy Dog PR
Sarah Scholefield, uk & europe ceo, Grayling Sarah Fox, communications manager, Morrow Communications
Vicki Spencer-Francis, MD, Cowshed Charlotte Le Rougetel, MD, BIGTOP
Paul Stephenson, partner and co-founder, Hanbury Strategy Emma Henwood, policy & public affairs manager, Sports Wales
Jennifer Thomas, former director of internal communications, Direct Line Lucy Hopkins, director of communications, Girl Effect
Tom Willetts, head of media relations, Prudential Shona England-Lees, media advisor, Yorkshire Water