The Financial Times (FT) is building a reputation as a progressively diverse organization. By 2024, their goal is to have 25 percent of their UK workforce identify as an ethnic minority. And they are not far from their mark with currently 21.8 percent. They also hope to reach 40 percent in the US, which currently stands at 33.7 percent.
Botswana-born Muchengwa speaks highly of the inclusion campaign in addition to fitting right into the fold. He describes his experience at the FT as comfortable and overall impressive. Muchengwa details how he has never worked within a company with so much Black leadership. He also notes that a very high proportion of divisions are female-led, a significant advancement for an organization over 100 years old.
Muchengwa stands out as a key player with his top-notch communication skills and ability to adapt to any environment. He started his professional career as a quantity surveyor but found himself unfulfilled, facing enough unconscious bias in an industry that did not evoke his passion.
Learn how Muchengwa made the pivot to marketing and how he combatted fear and parental guilt to find career success in the events conference division.
BYP: What advice would you give to people considering pivoting industries?
Muchengwa: My advice would be, do it. Even if it’s just for a little bit, do it. One, it might be a lot of fun and two, you might have a great experience. Life is short, so do it. Because I’ve done something else previously, I’ve been able to bring something different and new into this role.
BYP: How can companies demonstrate diversity in action in meaningful ways?
Muchengwa: For me, it’s not letting the [BLM] conversation be another tick box. It’s finding the intersection. How does this fit into other aspects of the business? It’s about being purposeful about removing as much unconscious bias as possible and minding things like your gender pay gap. Genuinely paying attention to that and making sure everyone is getting equal opportunities.
BYP: How has your upbringing impacted your career choices?
Muchengwa: I was born in Botswana and had a rigorous Catholic upbringing. It’s been quite a journey becoming happy, out, and open. Like many Africans, the norm for me was to become a doctor, lawyer, or accountant. In 2019 I took the risk to quit my job and went to university to study marketing. Eventually, I landed here.
BYP: What sort of legacy do you want to leave behind and why?
Muchengwa: I want to inspire just one person not to feel limited. To believe that they can! So, when I bring that one person up, they bring two people behind them. I want to take up equity and space in this world. Not only space that I’ve earned, but I deserve. In terms of life – every day is precious. Don’t lose time. As much as we think we have time, we must be mindful of how we spend it.