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Diversity fund recipient named in ‘100 future leaders’ list

Sophie Perry headshotA former regional press reporter has been named in a list of ‘100 future leaders’ for her contribution to LGBTQ+ journalism.

Sophie Perry, left, originally came into the industry via a bursary from the NCTJ’s journalism diversity fund and went on to set up a network for LGBTQ+ colleagues.

She worked at Newsquest daily the Oxford Mail for 18 months before joining specialist national publication Pink News earlier this year.

Now Sophie has been named on the Oustanding 100 Future Leaders Role Model list, produced by global diversity consultants INvolve, which aims to showcase a range of LGBTQ+ business leaders and allies around the world who are creating more inclusive workplaces

Sophie, who used her JDF bursary to study the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism at City of Wolverhampton College from September 2020 to June 2021, said it felt “bonkers” to be included on the list.

She said: “I look at everyone else on the list and they work all over the world, in places like Shanghai or Hong Kong, and then there’s me who grew up on a council estate in Wolverhampton.

“Journalism is one of those industries where it can be who you know, not what you know, and coming from a working-class background, all the contacts I have are people I met off my own bat. But if I can stop other people coming from working class or less privileged backgrounds from having to do that, I will.”

“I firmly believe journalism can only bring about real change if the people telling the stories – including leaders in the media sector – represent those who are reading them.”

Sophie also praised Dani Wozencroft, who led her course at City of Wolverhampton College, for her help and support in achieving her NCTJ qualification during the Covid pandemic.

“I think she’s an amazing tutor and I am still in contact with her – she tried to make online learning as engaging as possible,” she added.