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Meet Dani Desouza

Megan Raybould

07 January 2024

Dani Desouza is a young trustee at GlobalGirl Media UK. She shares her trustee journey and the connection she’s found between trustee role and career development.

My journey to becoming a trustee for media charity GlobalGirl Media UK (GGM UK) began around March – but it could be argued that it actually began around three years ago. I did a summer training academy with the charity roughly three years ago, after finishing my BA in History at Goldsmiths, University of London. The summer programme involved creating our own documentaries.   and my group decided to focus on the harassment girls face when wearing uniform.

I loved working alongside fellow women, many of whom were also women of colour, and so stayed on as a blog editor and helped to set up a podcast with the charity. I went to Catholic schools until the age of 18 where I was one of the few people of colour, so it was nice to be in a space where I felt like everyone else.

Since then, I have become a Senior Social Media reporter at PA Media, the national news agency for the UK and Ireland, and was asked by GGM UK if I would like to be a trustee. I felt honoured as the charity gave me the confidence to feel I could pursue a career in the media. It felt very fitting to become a trustee for them and to help others who hope to get their foot in the door, like they did for me.

My role is multifaceted, but a key part of my role is being part of the programme sub-committee.  As part of the sub-committee I help organise events like the summer training academy to give aspiring journalists and filmmakers a taste of working in the industry.

One of the highlights so far has been welcoming those participating in the academy to my place of work for a tour and organising for people from different teams to speak to them and share what they do. It was great to get positive feedback from the group and with many participants reaching out to me for advice,  reminding me how much I have grown as a writer since I was first on the scheme.

Despite still being fairly young and suffering from imposter syndrome daily – with the latter being something most journalists can probably relate to – I am proud to have gone from being an apprentice at my company in 2021, to a permanent reporter in July 2022 and being made senior in November. I also do all the content planning on my desk – do not ask me how my editor trusts me with this,  but he does and that means a lot. Getting to work with such a talented group of journalists regularly is such a blessing.

I think the biggest skill that being a trustee has taught me is confidence. Being selected made me think that my voice mattered and made me want to help other girls feel that theirs do too, which made me even more determined to play an active role in making diversity welcome in my newsroom at work.

I would wholeheartedly encourage more boards to take a chance on younger trustees – I think diversity in all forms enables a board to be made up of people who offer  different skill sets and mindsets.

In my job, I have demonstrated that although I am one of the youngest employees, I am not afraid to make suggestions and work hard to show I am committed to the field.

I believe that the younger generation are the future and we should therefore  involve them in important decisions on how to shape our society.

My advice to younger people hoping to become trustees – or about to become trustees - is to back yourself. It is easy to get bogged down by thoughts you are not good enough - that’s something I constantly have to battle with, but if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

I’ll always admit I’m an introvert with a sensitive soul but despite that, I have achieved things I could have only dreamt about as a university student. I am so glad I took that first step with GlobalGirl Media and got to where I am today, because I want to show that you don’t need to be the loudest person in the room to succeed or make it as a journalist.

It is also important to find a board to join that aligns with your morals and interests. Being a woman of colour and a trustee for GGM UK felt like a match made in heaven and I hope others can find that perfect partnership too.

Dani Desouza is a Senior Social Media Reporter at PA Media, covering topics ranging from original uplifting stories to finding case studies to accompany news stories, as well as being the team's content planner. She is also a trustee for media charity GGM UK and is determined to help fellow women into the industry.

Hear more from Dani by following her on Linkedinand X

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