Former Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express editor Eve Pollard has said she feels sorry for women occupying the top jobs in journalism because of the criticism they receive.
In an interview with Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music, the veteran journalist said more needed to be done to achieve parity in newspaper boardrooms between men and women.
Pollard – who spent three years editing the Sunday Mirror and another three at the Sunday Express – said of her time on Fleet Street: ‘There was great competition with men and it was very difficult.
‘I still feel sorry for women in charge now because they can’t seem to do anything right.
‘If they look glamorous, that’s wrong; if they look mousy, that’s wrong; if they have babies, that’s wrong; if they don’t have babies, that’s wrong; if they’re slim, that’s wrong; if they’re fat, that’s wrong.
“There’s no right way of doing it. Nobody looks at blokes in boring suits and criticises them.”
Pollard became the second woman to edit a British national newspaper in 1988, after News of the World editor Wendy Henry, who started at the paper in 1987.
‘You have to have a thick skin and there have to be so many women that it stops being of notice and stops being of interest,’she added.
‘When you have 50 per cent of women filling the top jobs, it becomes just uninteresting. Now, a few stand out – a few run companies, a few are famous. People have a go at them.”
Today, the editors of three of Britain’s 20 national daily and Sunday newspapers are women – Rebekah Wade at the Sun, Tina Weaver on the Sunday Mirror and Dawn Neesom, who edits the Daily Star.
The London Evening Standard has been edited by Veronica Wadley since 2002.
The Sunday Mirror has had five women editors in its history – Eve Pollard, Bridget Rowe, Tessa Hilton, Amanda Platell and Tina Weaver.
The News of the World has had three – Wendy Henry, Patsy Chapman and Rebekah Wade – the same number as the Sunday Express, which has been edited by Eve Pollard, Sue Douglas and Amanda Platell.