Diffusion has launched All Tech Voices to help advance the debate on how increasing representation and understanding of diverse audiences can strengthen the technology sector. This month we welcome Akansha Srivastava, founder and EIC of Techfundingnews.com, to discuss her experience of being a woman in tech journalism and founding TFN.
Having spent almost 15 years in the global journalism industry, I witnessed tech journalism evolve over the years. In my experience, working across three significantly different geographies, I observed it becoming more inclusive and diverse.
It feels like a lifetime ago when I recall writing about Apple iPhone launches for a website on the other side of the planet – from India. I remember taking a stance against suggestions to publish under a pseudonym, preferably ‘western’ (so much for diversity and inclusion!) Being one of their best English writers from the Indian team, I never bowed down. The voices eventually died down when the traffic did not suffer even with my name in the byline.
Then there were those situations where male journalists resigned after discovering the management had promoted a female to the tech editor position. The bias against women-in-tech was in full display. Though, that only spurred me to give my best and prove myself equal to (or in some cases even better than) contemporary male tech editors. Those were the times when women in Indian tech journalism were paid lesser than their male counterparts. I can take some credit for bringing a change to that statistic.
Most of the tech publications between 2013 and 2016 were local with negligible diversity. I used to be the only female among ten male tech editors travelling from India to cover international events. I annually visited Berlin and Barcelona during IFA and MWC events. It was there that I identified many opportunities in the market.
Hence I moved to Amsterdam in 2017 to explore the European tech journalism ecosystem. During my explorations, I became a sole trader, met the founder of Silicon Canals, took the challenge of converting it into a profitable website, and ended up achieving the goal.
It was a departure from tech consumer reporting to writing about tech startups, but it was the best decision I ever made in retrospect. Since 2018, this line of journalism has become unstoppable.
My journey through the European tech journalism ecosystem was a roller coaster. I’m so thankful to so many supporters I met during my ride. However, I did experience episodes of professional racism in interesting ways. Being an expat female tech journalist of colour who does not speak the local language was one hurdle too many. It was always more challenging to obtain exclusives compared to my counterparts. Making friends in the industry was even more difficult. Sometimes I had to work from the shadows; else, some biased clients won’t approve of our work.
I would often say to myself – “Get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward”. So, just like you cannot hide the shine of a diamond, my career too shone brightly in Europe. I had the best three years of my life over there, and I’m so proud that European tech news sites are now hiring more South-Asian journalists than ever!
In 2019, I finally moved to my dream city – London. I must say, it was not great timing, as the pandemic hit just three months after my move. But I was lucky enough; the industry showed me a lot of love and support!
It’s 2022, and London tech journalism is remarkably diverse. I mean, the city attracts the most ethnically diverse workforce. That’s also one of the reasons why I decided to keep London as headquarters for TFN – the dream project brewing in my mind for the last 3 years, finally a reality! TFN is all about exciting technology developments/products worldwide that are getting funded to drive the change and define the future of tech.
Looking ahead, I believe we require further efforts to reduce bias (ethnicity or gender-based) during hiring if we wish to truly realise a healthy diverse workforce in the tech ecosystem. There’s no room for racial prejudice in a workplace that wants to have high-performance teams.
About Akansha Srivastava, founder & EIC, TechFundingNews.com
Akansha started TFN in November 2021 as the Founder and Editor-in-chief. In a matter of two months of the official launch, the online news outlet has already crossed 50k visitors and more than 5k followers across social media. Covering the USA, UK, Europe and Asia, TFN is highly targeted towards tech experts and professionals who are a part of the global tech startup space, including founders, venture capitalists, investors, business intelligence analysts, entrepreneurs, journalists, and bloggers.
Akansha also consults tech startups and PR agencies on how to get impactful coverage in the media. She’s a highly experienced media professional with global exposure, having worked with brands like TNW and TechCrunch, executed content campaigns for brands including Amazon, Accenture and Samsung, covered global tech events like MWC, IFA, and CES, and plethora of product launches and B2B tech conferences around the world. Akansha was also a speaker at TNW conference in 2018-19.
She believes in the quote – If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.