Reuters’ Galloni eyes non-traditional paths to leadership, more inclusive newsrooms

By Andrea Shalal
JAWS member
White House/Economics Correspondent
Thomson Reuters

Alessandra Galloni, appointed in April 2021 as Reuters’ first female editor-in-chief in the news agency’s 170-year history, said she got some great workplace advice years ago when she had her first child: Return to a bigger job.

She took that advice, and it paid off with a progression of increasingly important roles at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters over the past two decades.

In a keynote conversation at #CamponDemand2021, one of her first public interviews since assuming the top job at Reuters, Galloni, an Italian national raised in the U.S. who speaks four languages, mapped out a vision for the future of journalism that includes nontraditional paths to newsroom leadership, a greater focus on mental health, more flexibility in career planning, and far greater diversity and inclusion.

“The world around has changed, and if we do not change and look more like the world outside, we will not be able to cover the world outside,” Galloni said.

Galloni, co-author of “From the End of the Earth to Rome,” an e-book on Pope Francis, told this year’s JAWS CAMP she’s seen great changes in journalism–including the treatment of women–since the 1990s, when she first joined Reuters as an Italian-language journalist.

But even today, too few women are entering management, she said, citing impediments such as inadequate child care, societal barriers and even a rigid insistence on being in the office, a requirement that, she said, was clearly upended by the widespread success of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reuters, with its global reach, had a role to play in fostering change, particularly in countries where “strictures and structures” were still in place, Galloni said, underscoring the need for a more global view.

“In general, I think we need to be a little more flexible in terms of how we look at career paths,” Galloni said. “There needs to be more flexibility in what constitutes leaders, and these paths up the management chain, and that it doesn’t have to be linear, but it can wiggle and take different forms.”