Maja Pawinska Sims 29 Mar 2023 // 8:02AM GMT
LONDON — Angela Oakes, the co-founder and joint president of networking and mentoring organisation Global Women in PR, has passed away aged 67, after a short illness linked to her battle with cancer.
Oakes had a successful career in PR running her own London-based agency for more than 25 years, specialising in global brand communications, and was a past president of Women in PR (WPR) UK.
Passionate about campaigning against the lack of women in the boardroom and other major issues directly affecting women working in the PR industry today, seven years ago Oakes co-founded Global Women in PR (GWPR) as a not-for-profit organisation with consultant Sue Hardwick.
‘Supporting, connecting and championing’ was the mantra on which GWPR was founded and it was this that led to two of the initiatives driven by Oakes as a key part of GWPR’s work – the Annual Index research, which tracked the changing experiences of women working in the communications industry, and Empower, the only global cross border mentoring programme for mid-career women in PR, which is just about to enter its second year.
In a statement, GWPR said: “Angela believed passionately in supporting the next generation of women in the PR and communications industry; helping them to reach their full potential and fighting for there to be more women in senior roles. As a result of her dedication and hard work she leaves a lasting legacy in driving change for women and will be sadly missed by her many friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”
Hardwick said: “I am deeply saddened to lose my partner and close friend of more than 20 years. We worked together as co-presidents to revive WPR UK some 11 years ago and having handed it onto a new president in 2015, we then turned our focus to creating a global network to champion women in our industry building on the strengths and blueprint of WPR UK.
“We did not know if the idea would work but with the incredible support from industry leaders, ICCO and the PRCA we launched and now have GWPR networking groups around the world working together to drive change. I will miss my friend more than words can say but I am determined that the work Angela cared so passionately about will continue and that her legacy will not be forgotten.”
Cornelia Kunze, chair of the GWPR international board added: “Angela was a such a role model for me and our national group presidents in so many ways. She was the kindest and most empathetic person, while she was always straightforward, determined and never lacking the courage to fight for what she believed in. I will miss her greatly, her humour, her passion and her friendship.”
Oakes is survived by her husband Roy and their two sons, Robert and Oliver.