PinkNews reporter Sophie Perry honoured on Outstanding 100 Future Leaders Role Model list

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PinkNews’ Sophie Perry has been honoured on INvolve’s Outstanding 100 Future Leaders Role Model list.

Sophie Perry, a news reporter who joined PinkNews earlier this year, has been honoured on the list for her contributions to LGBTQ+ journalism and her work as founder of the LGBTQ+ Journalism Network.

INvolve’s Outstanding 100 Future Leaders Role Model list, supported by YouTube, features inspirational LGBTQ+ individuals who are not yet senior leaders in an organisation but are making a significant contribution to inclusion for LGBTQ+ people within business.

It showcases global LGBTQ+ business leaders and allies who are breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive workplaces worldwide. They aim to represent the wide range of impactful and innovative work being done for inclusion across different countries, organisations and sectors, and celebrate the diverse range of inspiring individuals who have made it their personal mission to make a difference.

Commenting on being named to the Outstanding 100 Future Role Models list, Perry says: “It is a huge honour to be included on a list which features so many incredible and inspiring individuals from around the world, who are all striving to make their workplaces more inclusive, accessible and welcoming to LGBTQ+ people.”

She continues: “As governments around the world continue to crack down on LGBTQ+ lives with draconian laws, anti-queer hate crimes skyrocket and the media pushes misinformation about the community, accurate reporting which centres LGBTQ+ voices is more important than ever.

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“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.”

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Anthony James, chief operating officer at PinkNews, comments: “We are immensely proud of Sophie Perry’s well-deserved recognition as one of Outstanding’s 100 Future Leaders Role Models.”

“Sophie has consistently demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication in her work at PinkNews, providing our readers with insightful, accurate, and impactful coverage of LGBTQ+ issues. Her commitment to fair and balanced journalism has been instrumental in shaping the public discourse on LGBTQ+ rights and experiences.

“Sophie’s achievements serve as an inspiration for aspiring journalists and lgbtq+ individuals worldwide – demonstrating how to make a positive impact on the world with passion, perseverance, and a strong voice.”

Commenting on this year’s lists, founder and chief executive of INvolve, Suki Sandhu OBE, says: “I’m so thrilled to be celebrating our 2023 Outstanding Role Models, a global group of trailblazing executives, future leaders and allies driving tangible, long-term inclusion for LGBTQ+ employees.

“It’s vital that LGBTQ+ employees across global organisations can succeed and achieve career success, and these Role Models are essential drivers of change who are smashing barriers to progress.”

“Being yourself is the most important thing you can do for your journalism.” 

As the first person to go to university from her working-class family in Wolverhampton, the social stratification of journalism impacted Sophie’s ability to break into the industry as she was forced to confront the stark contrast between her parental income bracket and unpaid internships.

“I always wanted to tell stories and uncover truths that matter to people like me, as well as wider diverse communities,” she said.

“My aim was, and it is still the case, to undertake the type of journalism I needed to read when I was younger – informative, accurate and centred on LGBTQ+ voices.”

Since joining PinkNews in January, Sophie has provided queer-focused coverage of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, documenting the massive amounts of Pride Month boycotts and securing an exclusive interview with the mum of killed trans teen Brianna Ghey. Her vital work in the LGBTQ+ journalism space helps to deliver positive and transformative change in the UK and globally.

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Aside from her role at PinkNews, Perry is also the founder of the LGBTQ+ Journalism Network. (Supplied)

Alongside her work at PinkNews, Sophie founded the LGBTQ+ Journalism Network in response to a lack of specific industry-wide spaces for LGBTQ+ journalists to connect, network and support each other.

Now, as a future leader and a role model, Perry would advise young LGBTQ+ people looking to break into journalism to remember that lived experience and identity can “be as much of an important part of your journalism skill set as your general news sense, media law knowledge and shorthand.”

“Your specific understanding of LGBTQ+ life gives you an empathetic insight which enables you to tap into the community in a way other journalists who do not have those lived experiences cannot.”

Perry also urges everyone trying to get into the media industry to not be pressured into “becoming something you are not.”

She points to data that shows that journalism in the UK still remains middle-class, London-centric and white.

“If this is not you, it can be compelling to try and change yourself to fit in and blend with the newsroom culture,” she warned.

“The truth is, though, the industry needs people like you as your authentic self. For too long journalism was monopolised by a particular type of person and that means only certain voices are heard.

“Being yourself is the most important thing you can do for your journalism.”