Group Editor-In-Chief of Creative and Design, Amy Hennessey started in publishing over 12 years ago, pursuing a lifelong passion to work in media. Having worked across a number of our notable creative titles, we wanted to sit down with Amy and discuss her career in journalism and see what words of advice she could offer.
In light of International Women’s Day, can you tell us a bit about your time at Future and your experience in media?
It’s still such an exciting industry to be in. I always wanted to work in media, but I never imagined I’d get the chance to work across multiple magazines, bookazines, websites, events and marketing strategies. I’ve been privileged to work with some of the most talented people in the industry and help to develop some exciting brands, from SciFiNow to Digital Photographer, Photoshop Creative, Imagine FX, 3D Artist and many more.
Having been at Future for over a year now, I’ve been pleased to see that my gender has never really been an issue, which I know sadly isn’t the case for all companies. I’ve been given some amazing opportunities and treated with nothing but respect from management and my peers. People and Culture have been taken very seriously since I started; it’s very much on the company’s agenda.
What has been the most exciting point of your career so far?
Helping to launch the bookazine department at Imagine Publishing was a great memory, as it was such a new area of the industry you felt like you were really part of something fresh, building it from the ground up.
Since I’ve started at Future, though, I now get to be part of some amazing events from Creative & Design, from the web conference Generate, to the Brand Impact Awards from Computer Arts.
Next week we are launching a brand new event aimed at the CG community, Vertex, and it’s been really exciting to help build it from scratch. It’s on 13th March at Olympia London and I can’t wait!
What advice would you give to your aspiring female journalists?
My advice would be to make sure you go for it and don’t let thoughts of this being a male-dominated industry hold you back. Good employers recognise we need a balance of skills and personalities – I guarantee you have something to offer if you are passionate about the subject and work hard.
A lot of people, including myself, can lack confidence. Once you understand that a lot of people feel that way, it makes it easier to recognise your real worth and the value you offer and to work on those areas further.
How would you encourage young women to overcome issues in the workplace?
If you do find yourself facing problems my advice would be to address it directly and make your feelings known, but always maintain a calm and professional manner, however upsetting it may be.
I used to sometimes get asked ‘are you that women’s photography mag?’ by people outside of the company. My retort: ‘Women work on the mag, but most of our readers are men, so… no’. Be direct and calmly kill it with logic.
Do you think there is a good gender balance in publishing?
I think there is definitely still work to be done to address the balance of women and men in specialist publishing, but that’s not to say there aren’t opportunities for women willing to give it a shot and build up their skill set. Please come and join us!