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.
From working for free to becoming The Independent’s US Editor, Katie Davies tells the story of her career so far – and what she hopes the future brings for women everywhere.
Describe your job
I’m the US editor for The Independent. I head up an extraordinary team of editors and reporters across the country as we work to build The Independent into a go-to brand for trustworthy US news. Watching our reach and recognition growing each month is a huge motivation.
How did you get into your profession?
I took a postgraduate course in journalism and then I worked a lot – mostly for free. Eventually, one of those internships turned into a job on a local paper. I was fortunate enough to work in local papers when they still had some investment and that experience taught me so much. It cemented my passion for news.
Who and what has helped you break the bias?
At The Independent, women are at the table in our newsrooms around the globe and I’m lucky to have incredibly supportive bosses. That hasn’t always been the case in my career. I’ve seen some horrible sexism, women managers turning on female staff in the battle for recognition and I’ve worked under some outright dinosaurs. Those dinosaurs are starting to disappear, but there’s still so much work to do.
Which women do you admire?
I always wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to hold the powerful to account and I grew up in a family of amazing women who told me to go out there and do it. A mother, grandmother and an army of aunts who were, and are, incredible role models. They inspire me every day.
What are your hopes for the future in terms of breaking the bias?
I hope the media can move away from tearing women down for amusement. For change to happen we need female consumers to say no as well as a more representative workforce across media and the industries that fund media. Change is coming but not fast enough. In the US the dire situation around maternity leave holds women back in all industries, not just journalism. As a mom of two, I’m frankly horrified at how this country pressures women to choose between children and a career.
What one bit of career advice would you give to others?
Develop a specialism or expertise and be passionate about what you report. Be kind and don’t be fooled into thinking your humanity is a weakness.