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Women in PR announces Bibi Hilton as new President as Mary Whenman steps down following three-year tenure

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Bibi Hilton, MD, Golin London has been named President of Women in PR at the group’s AGM yesterday evening and succeeds Mary Whenman, following a three-year tenure.


Bibi Hilton said: “Our industry is on average 64 per cent female, yet just 35 per cent at a senior leadership level. Where do all these talented women go and why? Ethnicity and social mobility amongst women is even lower. As an industry that sells creativity, we must do better. Great ideas rely on diverse teams. I believe Women in PR has a critical role to play in improving the diversity of our industry. As a passionate advocate for these issues, I am delighted to take up the role of president.”


In Bibi’s three years as MD at Golin London, she has created one of the most progressive cultures in communications through a returnship programme, championing flexible working, introducing mentoring for maternity returners and job shares resulting in a more gender balanced leadership team.  Last year, Bibi was recognised as one of the 14 most influential women in communications by PR Week and included on Management Today’s Part-Time Power List.


New Committee members appointed:

In addition to Hilton, six new Committee members have been appointed at the AGM. They are:

  • Ruth Allchurch, former managing director, Cirkle
  • Ebony Gayle, founder, Ebony Gayle Communications
  • Anna Geffert, associate partner, Newgate Communications
  • Jo-ann Robertson, CEO and partner, Ketchum London
  • Sarah Samee, head of communications, Cifas
  • Abbie Sampson, director of external affairs, Energy UK


Mary Whenman, Past President, Women in PR, said:

On diversity

“As I hand over to the new President and her Committee, one of the objectives I set three years ago was to attract a more diverse membership to Women in PR. We have an important role to play in supporting BME female leaders and role modelling them within the PR industry. I am delighted that Ebony Gayle and Sarah Samee have been appointed to the Committee so that it reflects and represents the diversity of women working in public relations.”


On gender advocacy

“At my first Committee meeting we decided to be more than a networking group and to also be an advocacy organisation focusing on three workplace issues – to support female representation in the boardroom by nurturing future female talent; to help close the gender pay gap; and to support flexible working.”


On key achievements

“When I took on the role of President of Women in PR three years ago, little did I know the impact we would have on the industry.  Eighteen months after being appointed, I was arriving at Cannes Lions to represent Women in PR as a judge on the Glass Lion jury. That same year we won a silver Stevie award in New York for Women in Business for being ‘a catalyst for female success’ and became a founding partner in the PRCA CPD Programme. In 2017 our blog was recognised by Vuelio as a Top 10 UK PR blog by women, and we were shortlisted at the PR Week Awards in the new Force for Good category.


In addition, we partnered with the PRCA and PR Week on the industry’s gender pay gap consultation and took on the management of the PR Week Mentoring scheme which has seen 60 mentees successfully pass through the programme.  All of this has been achieved by a volunteer Committee who all have demanding and busy day jobs.”


Remaining on the committee are:

  • Claire Foster, vice president and deputy head of news at Direct Line Group
  • Nicola Hyde, treasurer and independent consultant
  • Jane Baerselman, events secretary and founder of Teal Communications
  • George Blizzard and Nicky Imrie, co-founders of the PR Network
  • Ali Jeremy, Director of Communications, NSPCC