LONDON, February 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The UK's leading networking organisation for senior women practitioners in public relations, WPR (Women in PR), recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a glamorous cocktail event and high profile debate on the Future of Networking in London.
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Guests at the luxurious Corinthia Hotel had the opportunity to hear the views of an impressive panel of speakers including Julia Hobsbawm, the world's first Professor in Networking; Helen Grant, MP and Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities and Ayesha Hazarika, political adviser to the Labour Party.
Commenting on this milestone year Helen Grant said: "Firstly I would like to congratulate Women in PR on reaching 50. As Minister for Women and Equalities I am acutely aware of the under representation of women in senior positions in many professions.
"PR is rich in opportunity for women and continues to attract some of the brightest and best of our young professionals. But while women dominate in this industry it isn't reflected at board level. Achieving greater equality at board level will only be achieved through a change of culture and working practices within business. As well as this we need to be equipping the next generation of girls, who dream of careers in PR, with the skills and confidence necessary to succeed.
"That's why the role that WPR plays in encouraging women to enter this sector through mentoring and developing their talent is as crucial today as it has always been. I wish them well for the next 50 years."
A recent PR Census organised by the PRCA - the leading trade body - revealed that there are currently 62,000 people in the UK working in the PR industry, of which two - thirds are female. However only 13% of these women make it to the boardroom, compared with 29% of men. Not surprisingly, this imbalance is reflected in annual salaries, with men earning on average 50% more (£67,000) than women (£44,500).
Julia Hobsbawm, Founder & CEO of the knowledge networking business Editorial Intelligence and Honorary Visiting Professor in Networking at the Cass Business School commented: "Networking is of the utmost importance to everyone these days - whether you are not yet employed, or in work. It is the hardest of soft skills. Women generally have a distinct edge in networking because they draw on their instinctive communications skills. So Women in PR should be at the top of their game when networking - and most are."
WPR Presidents Sue Hardwick and Angela Oakes added "We are thrilled to have hosted such a fantastic Golden Anniversary event for this important year in the history of WPR. We are now looking forward to the next 50 years and continuing our support for women in the PR industry."
Notes to Editors:
WPR is a sector group of the PRCA and a networking organisation for senior women working in the PR industry. It provides an important platform to enable members to share their experiences, assist one another in business and exchange ideas. WPR offers support for its members and during its 50 year history has helped to shape the development of the PR profession as a whole. WPR works to encourage and promote the highest standards of professionalism and to assist and support younger members within the profession.
Watch the highlights of the event on:
SOURCE WPR (Women in PR)