The Women In Journalism Mentoring Scheme

Our mentoring scheme is kindly sponsored by Tesco.

We need to help each other more than ever through difficult times. How would you like some of the most experienced women in the business to nurture your media career? The Women in Journalism network is made up of some of the most influential and supportive female print, broadcast and online journalists and editors of our time.

Our mentoring scheme, kindly sponsored by TESCO, matches them with other women journalists in need of personal, one-to-one advice for a sustained period of time. It might be, for example, help with planning a career move, setting goals, a job application or CV – or just a supportive voice to turn to in confidence when egos need a boost.

 It can work both ways – mentors remark how they learn a lot from mentees who have new insights and skills.

After a very successful five years and 400 happy mentees, we are delighted to be launching our 2021 scheme in November 2020.

What previous mentees and mentors say about the scheme

“I am deeply honoured to have the fantastic Eve Pollard, founder of Women in Journalism and former Fleet Street editor,  as a mentor. Long after the official mentor period she continues to advise, inspire and counsel me. Returning to work after maternity leave, I couldn’t have wished for a greater cheerleader at a time in my career when I needed it the most. Thank you, Eve!”

Kate Mansey, deputy features editor, Mail on Sunday, Mentee

“I have achieved so much in the last 24 months, none of it could have happened without the support of Women in Journalism. I was a recent graduate and my mentor allowed me to really understand the industry and realise how much I didn’t know. I know that even now I could ask her for advice. I still can’t believe I get paid to write stories every day.”

Ellie McKinnell, reporter, mylondon.news, Mentee

“The mentoring scheme is an excellent idea.  Great to be able to give something back and I do feel it does a lot of good. I wish such a scheme existed when I was starting out  in journalism.”

Lucy Daltroff, travel writer and broadcaster, Mentor

“Admittedly, I was a reluctant mentor – I go away a lot, I struggle for time and wasn’t sure how much I had to share. But I’ve loved mentoring my mentee this year. I learnt so much from her and watching her keen-ness and her career blossom has renewed my own enthusiasm for journalism.”

Katie Glass, award-winning feature writer, Mentor

”I had a really wonderful mentor and it helped me so much, in terms of gaining confidence as a freelancer and also landing dream commissions.”

Rosie Hopegood, New York based freelance, Mentee

”One of the best things is knowing you can say anything and it will go no further. I think it gives confidence and helps to know someone is on your side.”

Julia Gregory, Local Democracy reporter, Mentee

”I have loved having the opportunity to speak to a senior editor about everything from managing everyday situations to big-picture career advice . My mentor has been very generous with her time and advice and I’ve found it invaluable to be able to call on someone who knows the industry inside-out and has plenty of wisdom to share. I definitely would recommend applying to anyone who is thinking about it! ”

Victoria Craw, Foreign Editor, news.com.au, Mentee

”I’m glad to be able to help another woman in journalism. I hope it has helped her clarify what she wants and how to go about getting it.”

Mary Ann Sieghart, Writer and BBC presenter. Chair of Social Market Foundation. Trustee of Scott Trust, Mentor

”I have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring each of  my mentees over the past few years. It is eye opening to see the industry as it is now through the eyes of women at different stages of their careers.  Sometimes we have discussed specific issues they are dealing with in the office, other times we have talked through longer term work objectives. And sometimes we’ve just chatted about nothing more important than our holidays. I think it’s great to be able to pass on advice and life learnings to those who will come after us. And I glow like a proud parent whenever I read that a previous mentee has made some great new achievement.  

It’s a brilliant thing to be involved with.”

Alison Phillips, editor, Daily Mirror and WIJ deputy chair , Mentor

How It Works

We currently run two schemes. Take a closer read below to work out which one is right for you.

Senior Scheme: This is for you if you’ve already been a journalist for at least five years. Most likely you’ll be looking for more senior positions or guidance on how to progress your career at a higher level. You may also be freelance, thinking of going freelance or considering how to diversify. Women who have taken an extended career break are welcome to apply. Mentors will be selected from our committee and their networks. Senior mentees agree to become junior mentors the following year.

Junior Scheme: This is for women who have been in the industry for two to five years. We are sorry but we don’t accept applications from students or if you have been working as a journalist for less than that. Your mentor will be a mentee from the senior scheme, who will now be in a more senior or satisfying role.

Successful applicants will be e-introduced to their mentors in January 2021. The scheme lasts for a year and includes at least four one-to-one meetings, in person if permissible under coronavirus rules, online, by phone or email, or a combination.  You can read more about our mentoring guidelines here.

How To Apply

The scheme is only open to WIJ members – please join by downloading the membership & DD forms HERE. The application deadline is Friday December 4. Please do not send us additional CVs or attachments – we aim to find mentors for everyone who applies, it’s not a competition

Hilly Janes

Head of Mentoring