She takes over from Eleanor Mills under whose leadership Women in Journalism increased membership, ran more events and launched influential research. Mills, former editorial director of The Sunday Times, will continue to support WIJ as she launches her new business InHer Space and launches a new platform called Noon to empower women in midlife.
“I am hugely excited about taking on the role of chair at such a crucial time,” said Phillips. “Coronavirus has brought new challenges for our industry. We know across society women have been heavily impacted by the virus and its economic impact. Supporting women through these difficult times is an immediate priority.
“WIJ was there to support and champion women during the many changes journalism has faced and will continue to represent women working in every part of the industry, at every stage of their career, and in every part of our country”, she said. “We must be at the forefront of work to ensure journalism reflects the readers we serve”.
Eve Pollard, Founder of Women in Journalism says: “WIJ is very lucky to have Alison Phillips as its new Chair. As Editor of both the Daily and Sunday Mirror she brings experience and knowledge of producing successful newspapers both in good times and during the pandemic. She understands very well the problems that face all newspapers, working with smaller staffs with virtually no journalists in the office. I know she will be a strong campaigner for women in the industry.”
The WIJ mentoring scheme, launched under the chairmanship of Mills, has helped shape hundreds of careers, and WIJs constantly growing schedule of events is both practical and inspirational, Phillips said. “It’s a great organization that has been supporting, inspiring, and encouraging women across the industry for more than 25 years. We owe a massive debt to Eleanor for everything she has done.”
WIJ now has 900 members and says it will continue to grow its digital and broadcast representation alongside its two new deputy co-chairs – Kate Mansey, deputy features editor of The Mail on Sunday and Busola Evans, associate editor of Livingetc and Homes & Gardens.
Mansey said many talented young women coming up the ranks would benefit from WIJ’s excellent mentor scheme: “WIJ is a fantastic organisation with a long-held tradition of raising the profile of women at all levels of our industry.”
Said Evans: “As a journalist who has worked across newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years, I am honoured and delighted to be appointed deputy chair of WIJ. While the opportunities for women in our industry have grown steadily over the years, so have the challenges and they are becoming increasingly nuanced. So in these fast-evolving times, WIJ is as important and relevant as ever.”
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