Holly Mead, The Sun

As we approach #HMAwards22, we've been speaking to the journalists shortlisted in of one of our new categories, ESG Story of the Year. Today, Holly Mead discusses her work analysing gender imbalance in fund management, and reveals her expert knowledge of craft beers.

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Job-title & media organisation:

Deputy Head of Consumer, The Sun.

What are the main beats you cover?

Everything money! Anything from mortgages, savings and investments, to taxes, benefits and energy bills. Recently, I've been writing about flight compensation for BA strikes and what a recession is, and some days I do no writing at all. So it's fair to say it's varied. 

What made you become a financial journalist?

As convinced as I was that I was going to walk out of university straight into the role of Editor of Cosmo, it turned out that I came out into the middle of the global financial crisis and the money departments were hiring.  

What was your reaction to making the ESG Story of the Year shortlist?

I was very pleased! The 'Fund Managers Named Dave' project was one I was incredibly proud of at Morningstar - and it took hours of painstaking, manual data-mining and a beautifully colourful spreadsheet to do the numbers for this article.   

Tell us more about your nominated story and how you came to write it:

The previous year, while tallying up something else, we stumbled upon the fact that there more fund managers named Dave than female fund managers in total in the UK industry, which is a pretty mind-blowing stat. 

So a year later, when I revisited the topic, I wanted to see if the issue was more widespread. I plunged into the Morningstar database and went line-by-line through literally thousands of funds to see if the same was happening in France, Italy and elsewhere. 

More than once, I had scan Linkedin for profile pictures and ask international colleagues to check whether certain names were male or female in different countries - I didn't want to miscount or offend anyone!  

Who would you most like to interview about their views on ESG issues?

David Attenborough - but I'm not sure I'd stay on the topic of ESG.  

Finally, if you were up for an award for any hobbies/activities outside of work, what would you be likely to win, and why?

Craft Beer Connoisseur 2022. I recently came top in a blind tasting of eight different pale ales at my local taproom. It's a very valuable skill.  

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