FT Diversity Initiatives and Stories

Financial Times

Producing the best journalism relies on the FT having a diversity of perspectives. That makes it essential that we enable newsroom colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds and under represented groups to realise their full potential.

The editorial apprenticeship launched in 2023 focused on recruiting talent from less advantaged socio-economic groups. In contrast to the FT’s Paul McClean graduate trainee scheme, we do not consider applicants with a degree for this opportunity. We look for people who want to develop a deep knowledge of current affairs and business, are curious, persistent and seek out the truth. The FT apprentice studies for an NCTJ journalism qualification while working at the Manchester Evening News and the FT, under the 18-month apprenticeship scheme.

Our editorial sub-editing fellowship is another cornerstone in the FT’s drive to diversify our newsroom. The paid annual fellowship is for aspiring production journalists from under-represented groups to work at the FT for six months and develop skills as a sub-editor. The fellowship was established in memory of Maisie Hylton, a Black production journalist who enjoyed a long and successful career at the FT. We welcomed our first fellow in 2020 and we have had one every year since.

Meanwhile the FT editorial sponsorship programme launched in 2021 is designed to improve career progression for editorial colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds that are under-represented in senior journalism roles. It provides a framework for support from FT editorial leaders for early career journalists.

We are paying close attention to the pipeline of talent already in the newsroom. Among this group are colleagues from minority ethnic communities who have been in our newsroom for five years or more. Working with another FT company, the executive education specialist Headspring, we created a flexible programme to address the different professional needs of individuals.

Following the success of this programme, in 2023 we expanded the pilot scheme with Headspring, this time focusing on career development for experienced women journalists and editors who are considering applying for more senior leadership roles in our newsroom.

Alongside these initiatives to expand diversity in the newsroom, we have also expanded our journalistic coverage of issues affecting under-represented groups. This June, for Pride month, we ran a feature in which LGBT senior executives told the FT about their experiences in the workplace. In July we ran a data-driven analysis of the barriers to women becoming CEOs of S&P 500 and FTSE 350 companies. The investigation found that though women often held executive-level roles in areas such as sustainability and HR, these were less likely than roles held by men to prove to be a stepping stone to the top.

We have also tried to give a voice to under-represented groups in other areas of our reporting. This summer Josh Spero and Anjli Raval produced a deeply reported investigation exposing alleged misconduct by the celebrated architect David Adjaye.