WIJ Announces First Mentor Pairings at Dukes Hotel, London

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By Georgia Bea Edkins

Women in Journalism have announced their first ever mentor pairings today at London’s Dukes Hotel with the aim to “help women at the start of their careers, women returning to work after a break, or just those who want to make the step up to more senior roles.”

Mentor pairing, Dukes Hotel, London

Mentor pairing, Dukes Hotel, London

The scheme, masterminded by Head of Channel 5 News, Cristina Nicolotti Squires aims to address the media’s upper strata gender imbalance. A Reuter’s study by City University Professor, Suzanne Franks, found that whilst women dominate journalism trainee courses and entry-level jobs in the field, fewer women are likely to reach more senior positions. Women In Journalism’s Deputy Chair and Deputy Editor of the New Statesman, Helen Lewis, has faith in the mentoring programme’s ability to change the media’s disproportionate representation:

“We’re really lucky to have more women now in senior roles in journalism, but there’s still a long way to go and its fantastic to see that some of our most senior women journalists – including two national newspaper editors – giving up their time to help the next generation.”

The mentoring programme follows two Women in Journalism events, “Women and Power” held at The Fortune Theatre and “Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling” held at City University, both of which emphasised the need for female sponsorship and mentoring in this traditionally male-dominated profession.

Eve Pollard and new mentee, Kate Mansey

Eve Pollard and new mentee, Kate Mansey

Only eleven women were selected from a large and talented pool of applicants.

The pairings are as follows:

Becky Barrow (Money Editor, Sunday Times) , Elaine Moore (FT)

Louise Court (Director of Editorial Strategy and Content, Hearst) , Sophie Hines (Digital Editor, Good Housekeeping)

Alison Philips (Editor, Sunday Mirror), Suzanne Beishon (Deputy Sports Editor, Morning Star)

Helen Lewis (Deputy Editor, New Statesman), Fiona Rutherford (Junior reporter, Buzzfeed)

Sue Matthias (Senior Editor, Financial Times), Jessica Shankleman (Deputy Editor, BusinessGreen)

Eleanor Mills (Editorial Director, Sunday Times, Editor, Sunday Times Magazine), Ellie Austin (Assistant Features Editor, Radio Times)

Jane Martinson (Head of Media, Guardian), Jo Shelley (Producer, Amanpour, CNN)

Eve Pollard OBE (Former Editor of multiple national publications), Kate Mansey (Features Editor, Mail on Sunday)

Lisa Markwell (Editor, The Independent on Sunday) , Juliet Eysenck (Content Editor, Telegraph Digital)

Sarah Baxter (Deputy Editor, Sunday Times), Alix O’Neill (Freelance)

Sue Ryan (Journalist and Founder of Henley Literary Festival), Ploy Radford (Editor, HealthInvestor magazine)

Fiona Rutherford, Junior report for Buzzfeed

Fiona Rutherford, Junior reporter for Buzzfeed

One new mentee, Fiona Rutherford is “really excited to be a part of the mentorship scheme. It’s great to have a mentor to turn to and learn from.”

Today’s event was a promising start to what will be an educative and inspirational experience, both for mentee and mentor.

For those who were unlucky in not gaining a place on the mentoring programme, Women in Journalism have just started taking applications for their inaugural Georgina Henry Award for Innovation, which offers aspiring and established female journalists the opportunity to pursue the journalistic project of their choice, with the help of £4000 from sponsors, Wiggin LLP. Last year’s winner of the award and founder of The Everyday Sexism project, Laura Bates believes,

“The work of Women In Journalism in exposing media inequality and supporting female talent is invaluable. I’m so grateful to them for the opportunity to develop my work further.”

The closing date for applications and the chance to win £4000 towards a journalistic project is 1st February 2016. For more information, visit: http://womeninjournalism.co.uk/georgina-henry-women-in-journalism-award-for-innovation-2016/