Back in the day, before I knew any better, I thought the FT was a pretty dull newspaper. (Actually, back then, it probably was).
Today it's one of my favourite reads, especially at the weekend. The journalism has softened, the subject-matter widened. Admittedly it's still an urban, professional paper, but at the same time it's outlook has broadened and there's much more diversity in the contributors column.
But it still fails with women. Which is why the paper has acted in recent months, interrogating and observing focus groups and studying historical data to its web site.
But I was really grabbed by the mention of a real-time dashboard. A tool that enables journalists to spot what their audience are reading moment by moment and respond with articles that reflect the content, tone of voice, even the time of day.
That's not new of course - pretty much every other paper is tracking trends on social media and search with a small army of hacks on standby ready to critique the latest meme or viral video. But it's good to see the FT stepping up and pursuing a female audience.
There's more to this than attracting new readers. The FT has always been part of the white (pink?) male business establishment. Anything that makes that environment more welcoming for women and ensures that talent from every sector of society can contribute to the economy has to a good thing.
We created a dashboard that monitors, in real time, what our female subscribers are reading most and least, and what the proportion of female readers is for each section of the paper. We integrated this into our principal editorial dashboard, Lantern, so that anyone in the newsroom can access it from any device at any time. This creates a little bit of accountability and understanding that, as a journalist or an editor, there is something you can do.