Women in PR/PRWeek Mentoring Programme - mentees match-ups revealed

The match-ups for the 2021 Mentoring Programme from Women in PR (WiPR) and PRWeek UK have been revealed, with 30 talented female PR professionals set to gain valuable experience from industry-leading mentors.

Some of the mentors (clockwise from top left): Rachel Friend, Priya Brahmbhatt-Patel, Rachel Bell, Effie Kanyua, Paul Stephenson and Ruth Allchurch
Some of the mentors (clockwise from top left): Rachel Friend, Priya Brahmbhatt-Patel, Rachel Bell, Effie Kanyua, Paul Stephenson and Ruth Allchurch

Following a rigorous judging process, conducted by a panel of mentors, the WiPR Committee and PRWeek UK editor John Harrington, the successful candidates will begin their mentoring journey this month - see the full list of mentees at the bottom of the page.

At a time when the industry is still in flux and uncertainty remains in place for so many, each mentee will be given access to a minimum of six mentoring sessions, with additional ad hoc discretionary support available from mentors - propelling participants forwards on their leadership trajectory, building confidence, skills and networks.

The popular scheme, now in its eighth year, will continue in an inclusive digital format and again sees strong regional representation, as well as a good mixture of agency and in-house mentees. The male mentors introduced last year remain in place and will continue to actively champion and support women moving into leadership.

Anna Geffert, president of WiPR and a former mentee, said: “We would like to thank everyone who applied for the mentoring programme and offer huge congratulations to those who have been named as our 2021 mentees. Year on year we are blown away by the calibre of candidates and this year was no exception. What struck us during this judging process was the sheer ambition, determination and resilience of women in PR and their tenacity to further their careers. We are confident that the formidable mentors they are being matched with will give them invaluable support and the space to explore their options and achieve their goals.”

Laurian Hubbard and Rachel Moss, co-presidents of WiPR Cymru, stated: “We are delighted to be a part of the mentoring programme in 2021, and it’s fantastic to see three women from Wales have been successful in securing much-converted places. We know that the challenges faced by women working in PR in Wales can be quite specific, so having the opportunity to be mentored by those at the top of their game is incredible and we are excited to see where this year takes them.”

PRWeek and WiPR look forward to welcoming the ‘Class of 2021’ to an in-person networking event in September to come together and mark their achievement and the opportunity ahead.

Mentee/mentor match-ups

Mary-Jane Attafuah, consulting director, Blurred: mentor - Gay Collins, founding partner, Montfort Communications

Katy Ball, director, Hope&Glory: mentor - Jennifer Thomas, communications consultant, GSK

Laura Bevan, senior PR & comms manager, Elvie: mentor - Bieneosa Ebite, head of corporate communications, Centrica

Charlotte Birks, head of client partnerships, Good Relations: mentor - Ruth Allchurch, UK managing director, WE Communications (WiPR Committee member)

Laura Brooks, PR director, Tessian: mentor - Michele Moore Duhen, communications lead, Vodafone Business

Jenny Caven, director of external affairs, Slimming World: mentor - Tanya Ridd, director of communications, international, Snap Inc

Georgina Chapman, associate director, Europe, The Hoffman Agency: mentor - Graz Belli, co-founder, Third City

Rebecca Couper, head of external affairs, The Royal College of Psychiatrists: mentor - Priya Brahmbhatt-Patel, director of communications, Ofgem

Bryony Cox, account director, Mantis PR: mentor - Annabel Lloyd, independent strategic communications consultant

Lucy Dargahi, senior communications officer, House of Lords: mentor - Rachel Friend, chief executive, W Communications

Kirsty Edwards, stakeholder engagement lead, COVID, Department of Health & Social Care: mentor - Victoria Ford, director, Perago Wales

Emily Fermor, director, Hanbury Strategy: mentor - Hannily Pavey, global head of communications, Fidelity International

Katie Halfhead, head of communications, accuRx: mentor - Sarah Samee, director, SJS Strategies Ltd (WiPR Committee member)

Hollie Jones, account director, Liquid PR: mentor - Ginny Paton, managing partner, Ogilvy

Indigo Le Fevre, associate director, The Romans: mentor - Effie Kanyua, director of PR and communications, Hearst UK

Elizabeth Laidler, director, Encore Communications: mentor - Vicki Spencer-Francis, founder and managing director, Cowshed

Ffion Lewis, comms manager, RNIB Cymru: mentor - Seb Dilleyston, joint MD, Hope&Glory

Maria Laura Lini , external communications manager, Vodafone Business: mentor - Emily Morgan, managing director, consumer, The Red Consultancy

Tess Longfield, associate director, Lotus: mentor - Doyel Maitra, group communications director and board member, Hachette UK

Claire MacDonald, senior communications & PR manager, Warner Bros: mentor - Amanda Allan, founder, Amanda Allan Consulting (previously head of brand PR at British Airways)

Holly Mitchell, PR manager Easyjet: mentor - Nicola Green, corporate affairs director and executive committee member, O2 (Telefónica UK)

Francesca O'Connor, partner, Milk & Honey: mentor - Sarah Scholefield, global chief executive, Grayling

Emma Rączka, senior communications manager, Higher Education Funding Council For Wales: mentor - David Holdstock, director of communications, Local Government Association

Eleanor Riley, communications and policy manager, Redthread Youth: mentor - Matt Brown, director of news and external relations, Transport for London

Kirsty Roxburgh, senior strategist, Pitch Marketing Group: mentor - Roxanne Kalha, managing director, The Romans (WiPR Committee member)

Emma Sharpe, associate director, Ketchum: mentor - Rachel Bell, chair, The Academy, founder, Brand Spanking New Consulting, and NED for several brands

Amy Skelding, senior partner, Finn Partners: mentor - Molly Hooper Aldridge, entrepreneur and former global chief executive of M&C Saatchi PR

Sofie Skouras, deputy head of technology, Aspectus: mentor - Paul Stephenson, partner and co-founder, Hanbury Strategy

Harriet Southwood, PR manager, Alzheimer’s Society: mentor - Ali Jeremy, director of communications and engagement, The Royal Parks

Funmi Williams, internal communications consultant, HSBC: mentor - Tom Willetts, head of media relations, Prudential

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