In a collection of interviews to mark International Women’s Day 2022, we shine a light on some of the brilliant women at the heart of The Independent.
Here, Furvah Shah discusses her experience, influences and hopes for the future.
Describe your job
I research, write and report across different desks such as news and Indy100, while working towards my NCTJ qualification.
How did you get into your profession?
I worked at a local newspaper then went on to study media and communications at university where I built experience through creating a diverse portfolio of work. I also began freelancing at university, writing articles for multiple online platforms.
Who and what has helped you break the bias?
Other women of colour and Muslim women within the industry. Seeing people who looked like me and were from a similar background create a name for themselves in the industry despite bias and adversity helped me to push through.
Which women do you admire?
The creator of gal-dem magazine, Liv Little, was very supportive of me when I met her as a 19-year-old who was new to journalism and London. Also, Fatima Manji who was Channel 4’s first hijab-wearing anchor – I’d never seen a visibly Muslim woman in a position like that, so I found that very inspiring. Others include Nafisa Bakkar, creator of Amaliah magazine and Aina Khan, a reporter for the New York Times. And my mum, of course.
What are your hopes for the future in terms of breaking the bias?
More diversity, inclusion and intersectionality within journalism. Not just more women, but women from different races, ethnicities, religions, sexualities and socio-economic backgrounds in order to represent the diverse readers we should aim to serve.
What one bit of career advice would you give to others?
Although I’m pretty early on in my career, I’d say to have confidence, persistence and resilience. Be kind and compassionate in your storytelling and don’t let negative opinions shadow your goals.