4 Questions for #WomenHeard Panelist Jacqueline Simmons
Senior Executive Editor, Americas, Bloomberg
Jacqueline Simmons is Bloomberg’s Americas Senior Executive Editor, with oversight for more than 20 bureaus across the region, and news desk. Bloomberg’s global Equality task Force also reports into her.
She previously oversaw a team of 125 reporters and editors as Executive Editor for Bloomberg News’s Global Business group, which covers global industries ranging from automakers such as General Motors to healthcare and pharma giants Johnson & Johnson. Before that she ran European Company News and European M&A and deals.
Jacqueline was based in London and Paris for most of her professional career and sat on Bloomberg’s EMEA diversity council, comprised of senior leaders from across the business and region. She has worked in journalism since 1993, starting with the spot news desk of the Wall Street Journal in New York City.
1. What is some advice you can offer women looking to re-enter the workforce, and how can they prepare to make themselves stand out?
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to readjust to return to office, especially when you’ve been working from home for the better part of a year. If the option is there, I would recommend making a gradual transition. Perhaps try coming back three days a week at first to get back into the habit of a commuter routine and all that implies (dressing up, getting the kids ready for daycare/school, budgeting extra time for the commute, etc).
There is value for women being in the room, where decisions are being made, and for catching senior managers and peers on the fly. While we do have to manage time given child care duties and other responsibilities, face time can be beneficial– if anything– for networking purposes.
2. What do you love most about journalism, and what is it that made you want to pursue it as a career?
I love getting paid to be curious, and to then translate that curiosity into content that hopefully changes views or has impact in some way. Another thing that has changed in the space is the delivery: the emergence of new platforms like podcasting and video streaming are added tools for storytelling, along with data journalism and other delivery forms. We have all of these platforms at Bloomberg.
My decision to go into journalism started with a tragedy: my school paper wrote a poorly reported piece about my brother who took a leave of absence. He was quite successful, football team, looking at Ivy Leagues, economics major, learning Japanese, and one of very few Black men in his class. Then he hit a wall, and the stress and mental health issues took hold and almost destroyed him. But it was sloppy reporting that inspired me to confront that leadership, which ultimately led to my joining the paper as an Opinion editor/writer. That’s where it started.
3. What has been the greatest influence throughout your life, and how has this influenced you?
The greatest influences in my life have been the biggest challenges, such as the one I mentioned with the story of how I got into journalism. But also the many rejections and sometimes failures — both personal and professional. I don’t exactly celebrate them in the moment, but when I look back, those collective experiences define who I am, and I especially appreciate whatever grit I’ve gained from them.
4. Is there a particular book or film you’ve recently read or seen that has made an impression on you? Why?
I’m trying to find ways to be entertained considering my days (and nights) are filled with news. I really got a kick out of Pretend It’s a City with Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese.