8 tips for making it as a woman in a TV newsroom

Sarah-Jane Mee has just landed one of the best jobs in news as the first ever female lead-anchor for Sky News Sunrise, the channel's most popular show.
She exclusively reveals her insider secrets to getting to the top in the newsroom

 

Have a specialism or passion, it makes you stand out – In the newsroom, mine was sport and it’s good to have a subject that people can come to you for, for ideas and assignments. You want to be the Go To Girl

 

Generate ideas – On a slow news day you’ll get noticed for coming up with content and it’s often the best chance to get ahead of the pack.

 

Just say ‘yes’ – Put your hand up for every assignment…yes, even the 5am extreme weather story that will see you battered by wind and rain or the ‘and finally’ story that sees you at a dancing dog show in Derby. Treat every story with enthusiasm and the end result will be a step closer to where you want to be.

 

Be human first, journalist second – Don’t feel you have to be a ball breaker to get ahead. Just because the environment may be tough and male dominated, it doesn’t mean you have to be. Authenticity will make your work stand out. Work hard and be nice to people – It’s not rocket science and it really does go a long way.

 

Ask questions and LISTEN – Sounds simple but it’s amazing how often the latter is forgotten. Listening is where great ideas and stories come from. Apparently women are better at it so use it to your advantage.

 

Dress for success – I find it really makes a difference to how you are treated and also how YOU perform at work.  Always be smart.  I wear heels under the desk on set when I could just as easily wear UGG boots or trainers but it makes me feel more professional.

 

Stand up for yourself – Don’t accept anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. In a male dominated environment inappropriate comments can be dismissed as ‘just banter’ or ‘just a joke’ – if you are not laughing it is neither.

 

#Girl Squad – I often get asked if it’s bitchy in the newsroom – it’s usually more the men than the women to be honest! Smart women understand that we are stronger together and the more we encourage and look out for each other, the better it is for opening up the newsroom to bigger and better opportunities for women in the future.

Sarah-Jane Mee will host Sky News Sunrise from 17 October

@skysarahjane

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