I decided to offer myself up as a mentor because I’ve been lucky enough to have had a fabulous career in journalism. I’ve worked on local papers, national tabloids, and in local and network TV newsrooms as well as a short spell freelancing at Sky News. And at ITN, where I’ve been for 18 years now, I’ve been a news editor, a field producer all over the world, a Head of Home News, a programme editor of ITV Lunchtime News and of News at Ten and I’m now Assistant Editor and Head of Output. So I’ve got masses of experience to hand on to a younger generation.
I also feel strongly that young women in the business need strong role models to look to as they climb the career ladder. Being a working mother with two young children isn’t easy and I can pass on advice about juggling family and career (not that I think I have that entirely sorted!). Whereas newsrooms are so much more less macho now than they were when I started out 20 odd years ago, there’s still sometimes a tendency for men to dominate the business over their equally experienced female colleagues.
I’ve enjoyed the results of becoming a mentor: I was very pleased when my mentee told me she’d secured herself a pay rise because she’s increased her confidence. I’ve been told by others that I am quite inspiring – so it’s great to see real results of that.
As I’ve said – I do think I’m incredibly lucky to have had such a fabulous, fun career in this business. It only seems right to help others get that same success.