Thursday 3rd November 2016, saw the launch of Women in Journalism Scotland, with nearly a hundred women from media old and new, written and broadcast, congregating in Glasgow for an evening of conversation and inspiration as well as some pretty impressive wine and snacks thanks to sponsor EY.
Like its London-based big sister, WiJ Scotland hopes to be a networking, campaigning, training and social organisation for women journalists who work across all media in Scotland, whatever your age or stage. Full membership costs just £20 a year, and student and non-working membership costs £10. Click here to join.
First off, thanks to everybody who pitched up and made it such a terrific evening. It was great to see so many fabulous women in one room, putting faces to bylines, swapping stories and survival tips, and generally reminding one another that together we’re a force to be reckoned with.
Also huge apologies to those who missed out on tickets: the organisers simply hadn’t banked on it being so darned popular, and please, please email or tweet us at the addresses below for follow-up info on how to get involved. We want to hear from as many women as possible about what members would like to get from WiJ Scotland.
The evening included a panel discussion, hosted by the BBC’s Shelley Jofre, with NUJ Scotland’s Fiona Davidson and EY director Tricia Nelson as well as first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Fiona spoke about the importance of collective action in equal pay disputes. Tricia discussed the importance of networking – a word plenty of women in to room admitted to feeling a bit allergic to.
Questions for the First Minister ranged from her attitude to positive discrimination and whether the gender of the UK Prime Minister made any difference to their interactions, to her social media policy: for those in doubt, she writes all her own tweets and has (just about) managed to stick to her self-imposed rule of not taking to Twitter after a glass of wine.
It was particularly interesting to hear Ms Sturgeon discuss in detail what difference she felt it made to women politicians having women represented so poorly amongst Scottish political reporters – with a few notable exceptions of course, including the Times’ Scottish political editor and now the whole of Press Association’s Holyrood team.
Thanks to Libby Brooks of The Guardian and Nicole Kleeman of Firecrest Films who helped Shelley Jofre get WiJ Scotland to the starting block and, of course, the amazing Kate McMillan who coped admirably with the never-ending demand for tickets and helped the whole thing run smoothly from London. None of it would have happened though without the gentle but persistent nudging of Julia Gregory who first floated the idea with Shelley 4 years ago!
So what’s next? Well, last night’s attendees – and indeed everyone who wants one – will be getting an email with further details about joining WiJ Scotland, how to get involved in the organising committee and asking for your thoughts on what kind of workshops or speakers would inspire you.