For this week’s Media Monday we’d like you to meet journalist, author and speaker Ruchika Tulshyan. During her career Ruchika has reported from six cities across four continents for publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Time and Bloomberg. She is one of the founding editorial team members for the women-run media website, The Establishment. Ruchika is also the author of “The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace,” which was published by Forbes Media in 2015.
Let’s get to know Ruchika a bit more!
How did you find yourself as a writer and contributor for publications such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal?
I first interned with Forbes while I was in graduate school in 2010. I left New York after I graduated from Columbia, but I kept in close touch with my editors there and when Forbes started their blogging platform, I was among the early cohort to start writing about women at work – initially reporting from Asia – but continued writing for them when I moved back to the U.S. in 2012.
My relationship with WSJ is much more newer; I’ve only been writing for them for about 18 months on and off, but it’s been great to explore a different set of topics for them.
Which of your stories are you most proud of?
I’m really lucky to get to write about things that I’m so passionate about – equity and equality, as well as culture and identity. One of my favorite reported pieces is about the experience of women of color speaking up at work (Forbes); I learned so much about how stereotypes and biases can negatively impact different women even when they do the same things in the workplace.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Getting to write about topics I care about. A close second is hearing from readers, even the ones who disagree with me, as long as they do it in a respectful way.
What is your interview style?
I like to be conversational — I tell a better story when it’s not a formal interview. I’ve had to do many interviews over the phone recently as I write for a more international audience, but when I do face-to-face interviews, I try hard to choose a location that would put the other person at ease if I’m doing a profile. I make notes that may seem irrelevant at that time such as what the person ordered or what they wore, but sometimes it’s helped to tell the story in a more compelling way.
What do you look for in a story?
I try to look for angles that the mainstream media doesn’t always cover, particularly from the perspective of women of color. I always ask myself “why this story and why now?” before I pitch it to an editor. Interesting characters drive the best stories.
What is your day like at your job?
I write between 3-5 articles for different outlets a week and edit about 5-7 for The Establishment, a news site I’m the founding Contributing Editor of. Each day is a mix of interviews, transcribing, writing and editing. Since my book released, I also speak at conferences or consult on the topic of gender diversity frequently. The quarters that I’m teaching at the University of Washington, you’ll find me on campus 2-3 times a week.
Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
Wow, this is a tough one! I have so many favorites! My childhood idol is Oprah — she really awakened my love for hearing and telling people’s stories. I’ve always admired Christiane Amanpour too.
What is your favorite news outlet?
I have a soft corner for the BBC as I grew up watching it in Singapore. I also like The Financial Times, WSJ and The Stranger.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Daydreaming about travel. It’s an obsession!