Written by: David Gallagher @ GLOBAL WOMEN IN PR To Launch At ICCO Summit In Milan I have learned a few things about the PR business over the years: it's global, it's highly interconnected and it's powered by women. The global part has happened recently, with PR consultancy now thriving around the world and contributing significantly to business, government and civil society in economies just about everywhere. The connectivity goes without saying; every industry event is a homecoming and a reminder of how small the PR world is. We all owe our careers to a surprisingly small number of people, and as anyone who has ever attended a PR conference or awards dinner, it's hard to be heard over the buzz (roar?) of memories shared and friendships re-established. And the powered by women bit - that's a sign of our collective strength and a reflection of work yet to do. It's no surprise that a service industry built on empathy, insight and, well, communicating, would be one in which women thrive. But while many PR agencies are largely populated by females, the numbers in senior management positions remains disproportionately underrepresented. The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has enjoyed considerable success in recent years in all three areas - nurturing international expansion of the consultancy business, creating opportunities to network and collaborate and, now, playing a small role in helping PR women meet, mentor and shape the future of the industry. A new organization - Global Women In PR (GWPR) - committed to furthering the industry by helping women meet, share, mentor and shape our future. GWPR will launch at the ICCO Global PR Summit in Milan, Italy this week, and here's the official announcement: Milan, October 6th 2015 - A new international association, linking independent networking groups of senior women working in PR, is being launched at the forthcoming ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation) Global Summit in Milan (October 8th – 9th). Global Women in PR (GWPR) has been formed to act as an umbrella organisation to enable groups of senior PR women worldwide to come together to share ideas, contacts and experiences and to campaign on the major issues directly affecting women working in the PR industry today. The development of GWPR is fully supported by ICCO and their President David Gallagher had this to say about the new initiative “women are the heart, soul and mind of PR consultancy all over the world, and we at ICCO are pleased to be associated with GWPR's ambitious global plans.” Following the recent success of Women in PR (WPR) in the UK and its resurgence as a significant and powerful networking organization; former Joint-Presidents Angela Oakes and Susan Hardwick felt that the time was right to encourage other countries to form their own WPR associations. “The widely reported gender pay gap and the lack of women in the boardroom are two major issues which are not limited to the UK PR industry, but affect those working in PR worldwide. Coupled with what we believe to be an important vehicle for senior women to meet in a non-competitive environment, WPR also offers its members a chance to help shape the future of the industry and to act as mentors to the next generation. We want our successful networking blueprint in the UK to be rolled out globally and are taking the first steps to make this happen,” commented Angela and Susan. The launch of GWPR is being supported by Business Wire (a Berkshire Hathaway company) and a major sponsor of WPR in the UK. “We are delighted to be supporting this important launch,” said Kim Deonanan Business Wire Regional VP, Northern & Central Europe. ------------------------------------- David is a senior partner and CEO for Ketchum in Europe, and outgoing president of ICCO.