In April 2010 Marie Claire magazine launched the ‘Inspire and Mentor’ campaign in association with The Prince’s Trust that set out to get some of Britain’s most inspiring and successful women to share the valuable experiences and knowledge that propelled them forward in their careers. This ‘pay it forward’ scheme is a really positive venture from one of Britain’s biggest glossy monthly magazines and has featured women from many fields including business , design, film, music, publishing, writing and fashion.
Last night I was lucky enough to attend one of their events entitled ‘How to Get in to Magazines’ and this time the attention was turned to some of the key Marie Claire staff and how they got to where they are now. The panel covered several facets of the magazine and featured:
Editor in Chief: Trish Halpin
Features Director: Andrea Thompson
Fashion Features Director: Jess Wood
Beauty Writer: Cassie Steer
Digital and Online Editor: Helen Russell
Each women spoke about what their role at the magazine entails and how they worked their way up the magazine food chain to be in the positions that they now are. Confidence was clearly a key message that was being directed from this panel as well as perseverance and working hard to get ahead.
Many areas were covered in these personal accounts and showed that you don’t necessarily have to come from a journalistic background to get a great job in this industry. After these accounts the floor was opened up to take questions from the audience. These ranged from anything to do with what kind of degree would be best, what feminism means to the panel (Halpin’s letter in the April issue covered the idea that feminism is now considered a dirty word, an issue that should be raised and defeated), how to pitch an idea to a magazine such as Marie Claire, how the recession has impacted the industry and how the digital age will change print journalism. Strangely enough the latter topic was one I had discussed with my friend who also attended the event and is in the graphic design industry, and whilst I have an iPad and do indeed read magazines on the device, there really is nothing as good as the real thing, no matter how clear and pretty the images look on the iPad. *
The women who attended the event ranged from A Level students, graduates and women of a more mature age who were all seeking advice as to how to breach this industry. As someone who is in their late 20s I found it refreshing to see so many different types of women there (and a few men) and that the women on the panel shared so much of their own personal success stories. I feel like I have come away from this event with a newly invigorated sense of desire and confidence to strive to get the career that I feel that my skills deserve and so this event really has done what it set out to do; to inspire and mentor.
For more on this excellent Marie Claire campaign to ‘Inspire and Mentor’ be sure to check out their website here.
*On a side note to this, before we went to the event we ventured in to the Tate Modern which was a mere five minutes from the Blue Fin Building where Marie Claire is situated. I ended up purchasing a rather beautiful and intricate Vintage Magazine that came with the rather hefty but worth it price tag of £12.99. You may call me crazy for spending this much but the love and craft of how it has been put together was worth it, print media is far from dead.