Christmas party 2012

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What is it that makes a good Christmas party? The people, the drinks, the goodie bag? All of these and more were relished at this year’s Women in Journalism Christmas party, held at the swish Embassy bar in London’s Mayfair.

Members old and new gathered to enjoy the annual event, now one of the highlights of the WIJ calendar. As well as the summer party, the Christmas affair is open to members and guests to provide a chance to network and relax.

Between munching on elegant canapés and sipping fruity cocktails, guests shared ideas and celebrated some of the achievements of the year gone by.

“The WIJ Christmas party is a brilliant event – not just because it’s great fun and you get a truly amazing goodie bag (!), but also because it’s seriously effective networking,” said WIJ committee member Gill Hudson, editor in chief at Reader’s Digest.

“It’s a real chance to catch up with old friends across the industry, make new ones, and get some genuinely useful tips and insights. I really appreciate the generosity of spirit – the willingness to share information and, more often than not, offer real practical help and advice.”

Julia Gregory, another committee member and freelance journalist, agreed having spent the night exchanging fashion ideas with comedian and columnist Shazia Mirza, as well as sharing stories and advice with other guests.

For some women, it was their first taste of WIJ. “I have been looking for a way to meet other female journalists for a while, as men seem to be so tapped-in to networks, and I suppose I am jealous!” said Ruth Maclean from the Times.

“I’ve been bemoaning all that testosterone at the top to my female colleagues for ages, and it was very nice to be in the middle of a big room full of women for a change.

“I had a great time – I met women at all different stages of their careers and doing all kinds of different things. Everybody was very approachable and open, and it was both interesting and reassuring to chat about things that worried us, and things about working in the industry that were great and not so great.”

A new recruit, and hopefully more, and after a few more cocktails and glasses of wine, the party was sadly over for another year. But nobody left empty handed. If fact, most couldn’t believe the collection of Yves Saint Laurent make up, Elemis cosmetics and sugary treats contained within the much-praised goodie bags.

“It was great to see so many people from every branch of the business there – features, news, academia and broadcast,” said WIJ’s chair and Guardian woman’s editor Jane Martinson.

“The venue, food and drinks were much appreciated and the jelly beans the perfect way to sweeten the homebound journey.”

by Gabriella Jozwiak

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