Published 28th Mar 2023
It is with very great sadness that we have to report that our Co-Founder and Joint President Angela Oakes passed away this morning following a very short illness sadly linked to her battle with cancer.
As many of you will know Angela believed passionately in supporting the next generation of women in our industry; helping them to reach their full potential and fighting for there to be more women in senior roles to create balance in an industry populated by women.
Supporting, Connecting and Championing was the mantra on which GWPR was founded. It was this that led to two of the key initiatives driven by Angela as a very important part of GWPR’s work – the Annual Index designed to track the changes for women working in the industry and Empower – the only global cross border mentoring programme for mid-career women and just about to enter into its second year.
Angela had an extremely successful career in PR running her own London-based agency for more than 25 years, specialising in global brand communication and was also past President of WPR UK. Seven years ago, as her legacy to the PR industry, she co-founded, with Sue Hardwick, the not-for-profit networking organisation Global Women in PR. Angela was passionate about campaigning against the widely reported lack of women in the boardroom and other major issues directly affecting women in the PR industry today. 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.
Commenting on the news Sue 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 to 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 commented “Angela was such a role model for me and our national group presidents in so many ways. She was the kindest and most empathetic person, always straightforward, determined and never lacking the courage to fight for what she believed in. I will miss her, humour, passion and friendship greatly.”
Angela leaves behind her husband, Roy and their two sons, Robert and Oliver. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.
Angela was innovator and fighter for equal rights and fair attitude in the Public relations business globally. The colleagues from hundreds of countries and all continents will remember her legacy forever and also her active participation in all ICCO projects for a better world and better business. R.I.P
Cannot believe, Angela is gone. She has left a huge legacy – co-founding this wonderful international network together with Sue, pushing the boundaries continuously and with that connected and supported so many women in our profession around the globe. We`ll continue and hope to make her proud. One of the programs Angela was very proud of is the ‘GWPR Empower’ cross-country mentoring, which we will lead into its second year now. I will miss the many conversations we had, her humor and her fighting spirit. She was always on top of things, ‘soldiering on’ as she sometimes called it, especially during the time when she was ill. And: she was so keen on learning something new all the time. A big thank you and Rest In Peace, dear Angela! Sincerest condolences to Angela’s husband Roy, and her sons Robert and Oliver.
Cara Angela talking with you the first time I met you have been a real gift. With Sue, we moved the very first steps of this amazing association, which I greatly owe. GWPR is an opportunity to network and touch on the importance of creating meaningful connections, personal ties, and emotional bonds.
Angela, I will miss you, and we will miss you. Your kindness, strength, and spirit will remain forever in my life.
Wherever you are, for me, you are bathed in light.
To all those who mourn Angela, I relaunch with the hope of finding her again in the things she left us. Each of us creates memories.
A loving and sincere hug to the family. My heartfelt condolences. Carola
I enjoyed meeting Angela and found her career and mission to elevate women in PR globally inspiring. I wish I would have had the opportunity to get to know her further. May she rest in peace and may we all rise before of her pioneering spirit.
Very sad to hear of Angela’s passing. Sue Hardwick had told me of her illness at a recent event to celebrate Women in PR, but this news still came as a shock.
I know that Angela leaves a huge gap in so many lives. I knew her through Women in PR and, in particular, the work that she and Sue did to revive the organisation when it had not had any leadership and membership had declined. Angela was practical, efficient and charismatic – a testament to her long and successful career in public relations.
My thoughts now lie with her family and friends who can, with those who knew her on a professional level, celebrate her legacy. Sincere condolences.