Street Life Portrait: Booze-soaked boys’ clubs are a thing of past in the newsroom

The Telegraph and Star female news room Julia Armstrong, Ellen Beardmore, Nancy Fielder, Marisa Cashill and Polly Rippon
The Telegraph and Star female news room Julia Armstrong, Ellen Beardmore, Nancy Fielder, Marisa Cashill and Polly Rippon
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My column for this week and had already been done and dusted when, on Tuesday afternoon, one of my colleagues announced I’d need to do a hasty rewrite.

“All of the content in this week’s edition ties into International Women’s Day,” they announced. “Can you pull something else together instead?”

I now work in an environment where the guys outnumber the gals.

When journalists get told to come up with something fresh at the last minute, the air is normally filled with industrial strength language and the occasional flying keyboard.

Not so on this occasion. “I’d be happy to,” I said. Both the colleague who asked me and the editor of this esteemed publication are women.

And that set me thinking about the massive strides I’ve seen women take in the newspaper ndustry in my time in the job.

When I first came into the profession 22 years ago, lunchtimes were a booze-soaked boys’ club. Newsrooms seemed to be extremely heavily male-dominated workplaces, awash with screwed-up press releases and four-letter words.

I now work in an environment where the gals outnumber the guys.

And while the effing and blinding still exists (with a fair chunk of it coming from the ladies) some of the happiest times in my career have been spent working under women (stop giggling at the back please).

I’ve also worked with a few that weren’t quite as fun to work with, but by and large, female journalists help to bring an air of calm and fun to newsrooms.

I’ve made some incredible friends along the way and seen many of those female colleagues go on to have outstanding careers elsewhere, some still in the industry, and some outside it.

So being asked to put something together just a few hours before deadline turned out to be a pleasure, rather than an expletive-filled chore.

I’m glad and proud to work in such a female-bossed environment.

And if you’re desperate to read my thoughts on Park Hill, you will just have to wait until next week.

Just blame the girls.