Mentoring at JAWS

Mentoring is a cornerstone of the Journalism and Women Symposium, bringing together working journalists and journalism educators and researchers from across the country to share resources, support, training and information about issues that affect women in our field. We meet in person and online in an atmosphere of mutual support, sharing ideas, connections, job leads and insights into our work. Started in 1985, JAWS has now grown to 750 members who work in radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, online and in academia.

Our mission: “The Journalism and Women Symposium supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and works toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society.”

JAWS does an exceptionally good job of informally mentoring women in journalism through our members, who communicate in person, via our active listserv, through our member database, and with programming at our annual conference and at other regional gatherings during the year. We also have a more formal mentoring program for members, in which we match mentors and mentees to work together throughout the year. We match women based on the answers they provide in survey forms regarding professional expertise, location, career level and special requests.

What our mentoring includes

Our mentoring program provides support for:

  • writing and polishing a résumé and career plan with an eye toward long-term goals and career building
  • preparing for a job interview and practicing those presentation skills
  • evaluating college and graduate school programs based on objectives
  • applying for college and graduate school programs
  • finding and applying for scholarships and fellowships
  • establishing an outside network and asking for help
  • practicing public speaking
  • building self-esteem and confidence
  • managing difficult work situations with bosses and colleagues
  • finding sources and improving stories through writing coaching
  • getting the experience and building the track record to earn promotions
  • preparing your case for a raise and then asking for it
  • staying in the news business by building a support network
  • transitioning into management and leadership positions
  • transitioning into a new type of journalism, such as moving from print to broadcast or politics to opinion writing
  • transitioning into teaching or other endeavors

How to sign up for mentoring

If you are a JAWS member and would like to participate either as a mentor or mentee, you can find survey forms by going to your profile on our members-only site.

How to help with the mentoring program

If you would like to help with the matching process or learn more about the program, email

In 2014 JAWS mentorship opportunities expanded to a year-round program. We will continue to offer mentoring at CAMP for those members unable to make a long-term commitment.


“The Missing Mentor” by Mary Stutts

“Spiraling Upward” by Wendy Wallbridge

“Work Happy” by Jill Geisler

“Playing Big” by Tara Mohr

“5 tips for finding mentors even if you don’t work in a newsroom” by Jillian Keenan, at Poynter

“5 Steps to Becoming an Amazing Mentor” by Vincent O’Connell

“Are you qualified to be a mentor?” by Sarah Watson