The Greater Good

How are you going to innovate without diversity?

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending an event hosted by the Thomson Reuters Black Employee Network. I have been involved in emphasizing the importance of Diversity & Inclusion through a series of workshops at our Canary Wharf office and my invitation to this event followed on from these discussions.

The title of the discussion was ‘The Colour of Representation’, and was presented by John Amaechi. John describes himself as a ‘Jedi’ Psychologist, and as he is 6’10″. For well over an hour, John discussed the pivotal moments in his life that led to his success, from childhood all the way through to where he is now, a psychologist, broadcaster, presenter, advisor and thought leader on diversity.

A couple of things that really resonated, especially when looking at the various diversity challenges we face as an organization. Some of the most important of these challenges are recognizing the value that can be added through a diverse workforce, ensuring we do not discriminate through our hiring practices and creating an inclusive environment for this talent to grow and flourish.

Firstly, John was clear in his personal objective. He is not in business to sit around holding hands, singing Kumbaya around the campfire. Much like our company, he is in business to win, and to do this, diversity is fundamental! (more…)

The women de-mining Sri Lanka

In 2011, Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondent Nita Bhalla went to Mannar in northern Sri Lanka and met a group of women who had taken on the unusual and rather frightening job of removing landmines. Three years later, she returned, with a camera, to document the work of these women, who are survivors of an almost three-decade-long war.

It is estimated that over one million landmines were laid in the Indian Ocean island’s north and east during the conflict which pitted separatist Tamil Tiger fighters against government forces. When the war ended in May 2009, around 2,000 square km of land was contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance. Now only 80 square km is left – making it one of the big post-war successes of Sri Lanka.

While most of the de-mining is done by the army, aid groups such as the Mines Advisory Group hire women, as well as men to the job, after providing training and competitive payments for their work. They attend a camp for three weeks learning about the types of explosives and landmines they are likely to encounter, plus skills and techniques to search and mark landmines.

Starting the conversation about diversity

I am lucky to be writing about a topic that I am sincerely passionate about. Lucky because I have the commitment from our organization to focus on it. Lucky because I am a female leader at Thomson Reuters and can be an example and role model to others. So, I would like to begin a much-needed discussion on the topic of diversity and inclusion.

No doubt you have seen the stats and headlines. The lack of diversity in the media, and especially in journalism, is a matter of concern. It should come as no surprise to anyone that taking diversity seriously these days is essential to being competitive, especially for a global news organization like Reuters.

Diversity in background, skill set, perspective, and how one thinks and processes information is a tremendous value to our company. It’s essential in helping us provide society with the news it needs and our efforts to become the greatest news organization in the world. If we don’t have a diverse news file that reflects the world we live in, we won’t remain relevant to our customers. Today, leveraging knowledge, culture and style is essential to growing any business.

The intent of our diversity efforts is to expand our reach, our mindset and continue to create an open and inclusive environment. This does not mean hiring or promoting individuals just because they are diverse. Merit should always be the determining factor. However, we can’t ignore the invisible headwinds and tailwinds that enable some and prevent others sometimes based merely on how they look or on how society has historically defined them. We must open our eyes to these barriers and remove them where possible. Are we stopping to consider why we are making certain hiring decisions or why some people are rising faster than others within the organization?

The business issue is simple – we’re a people business and we need the best.  My experience has taught me that in order to achieve sustainable high performance, employees need to be who they are, and express themselves openly and with confidence.

The moral issue is also clear to me. I can think of no good reason why we shouldn’t be providing opportunities and fostering a supportive, open environment to any and all talented and qualified people regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or background.

Discussing the facts and lack thereof

As an industry, we could be doing better when it comes to diversity. For example, data from the 2014 census released the American Society of News Editors and the Center for Advanced Social Research, revealed a higher proportion of men vs. women in journalism roles, especially at more senior, supervisory levels. And the percentage of minority journalists has remained between 12 and 14 percent for years. Globally, the situation is not much different, and you won’t be surprised that Reuters is not an exception. (more…)

KidSmart St. Louis school supply drive & volunteer event

By Trish Hatten, Thomson Reuters

Throughout the month of August our St. Louis campus participated in the KidSmart Push for Pencils school supply drive. We collected over 650 items and $150 in cash donations to help give local kids in need a chance for a successful school year.

In September, 10 employees spent an afternoon at the local KidSmart Free Educational Supply Store sorting, counting, bundling, and organizing supplies that had been donated from around the entire community.

KidSmtTeamKidSmart distributes donated supplies through teachers who shop at KidSmart’s Free Store once a month. After shopping, teachers distribute the materials directly into the hands of our kids in need. Since opening in 2002, KidSmart has distributed more than $27 million in school supplies to more than 102,100 economically disadvantaged children in the St Louis area.

Thank you to the volunteers who worked hard at this event and to Cheryl Lokke for organizing our supply drive as well as this volunteer event.

Nick Grono on the consequences of human trafficking

With the next Trust Women Conference just around the corner, we bring you a special selection of videos from key speakers and participants sharing insights into the work they are doing to put the rule of law behind women’s rights. Nick Grono, the CEO of the Freedom Fund, discusses the consequences of human trafficking.

Join us, take action. Reserve your tickets today.

My visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital with Radio Lollipop

By Loris Barisa, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters

We all know that familiar feeling we get every now and then. The one associated with questions like, “can I really do this? Will I feel uncomfortable?” Those were the questions I faced recently as I made my way to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), to meet up with Zeena Rashid from our London Partners team.

It all started at the sales conference in Paris earlier this year, when Mitko Iankov suggested that I ask Zeena what she does on Wednesday nights. Zeena made a great and passionate “pitch”. She energetically explained that she was supporting a charity called Radio Lollipop. That she visited a hospital for a few hours every Wednesday, volunteering her time to try to cheer up sick children. Since I thought this was a noble cause, I agreed to join her one evening and that evening finally arrived.

As I started to learn more about the hospital, that the volunteers spent most of their time with terminally ill children aged 1-16, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Having two children of my own, I wondered how I would react and cope in this new situation and what I would see. (more…)

“You don’t belong here” – Steven’s story of statelessness

“I don’t want to go to space. I just want to find my daughter.” Ten years ago Steven came to Britain seeking asylum. He was refused and told to return to his country. But he can’t because that country doesn’t recognise him. With no nationality, he has no rights to the basics most people take for granted such as healthcare, education and employment. He cannot travel, open a bank account, get a driving licence or even get married.

There are an estimated 10 million stateless people like Steven in the world. Read more in our Foundation’s spotlight on the world’s most invisible people.

News with impact

Journalism is one of the pillars of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. They cover the world’s underreported stories, the issues that mainstream media often forget. Their editorial team includes 26 correspondents across five continents and a powerful network of more than 100 contributors, enabling them to cover stories at the heart of aid, development, human rights, climate change, corruption, and social innovation. Every day, brings you features, analysis, info-graphics, blogs and exclusive videos. Their content is syndicated for free to prestigious news outlets and is accessible to all Reuters clients around the world. See how our Foundation informs, connects and empowers.

A correspondent’s guide to reporting on Ebola

Misha Hussain, the Dakar-based correspondent of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been covering Ebola in West Africa, and in early April was the first foreign reporter to reach the epicentre of the virus outbreak in Gueckedou, Guinea. He offers advice to journalists heading to cover the Ebola story.

Read more about how we are committed to supporting the scientific community through our comprehensive, current content and assets that bring treatment options for this global health threat to the forefront.

Our values in action

One of the key reasons I joined Thomson Reuters after years in investment banking was the company’s focus on its people and the strong support of senior leadership to create an environment where employees can thrive and customers can benefit from the collective knowledge of our employees. This has proven to be true over the past two-and-a-half years I have been here.

As I have seen, Thomson Reuters is committed to delivering on our purpose and values. This is represented through a variety of media, methods and materials. However, what’s really important is how we operate as individuals and as a collective organization every day.

Through corporate responsibility and diversity and inclusion efforts, we aim to empower sustainable growth for our people, our markets and our world. We do this by: (more…)