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Be the difference

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

How do we commit to diversity measures that really bring value to communities, teams and business outcomes? Difference is easy to judge but hard to measure. In order to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are not tokenistic, we need to shift the DE&I agenda from being compliant, to strategic.

How can you influence a system or process in your world to favour difference?

Write it down.

Consider: how might talent decisions measure difference as favourable in the same way we used to measure culture-fit?

Practice: bringing difference of opinion, experience, or ideas to the fore in planning meetings

Decide to: ‘save space for difference’ in your next conversation, appreciating conflict as much as consensus

The diversity tax

When I interviewed Vivienne Ming, AI analyst, theoretical physicist, she brought to my consciousness a concept called the diversity tax. It is a hidden tax we all pay. This tax does not build bridges, hospitals or roads, but it is very real. This tax is collected around the world. We all pay it. We pay this tax collectively in lost potential, lost productivity, and lost lives. This is the tax on being different.

Companies and communities that fail to recognise and elicit the full potential of their workforce will not remain competitive. In modern economies, as automation becomes more common, the value of human capital will increasingly come only from self-motivated, adaptable problem-solvers. While there are costs in addressing bias (the medium and long-term gains represent massive untapped potential in the economy), the potential we could gain might even eclipse the tax itself.

This isn’t just a social justice issue. It doesn’t fall under corporate responsibility. The tax is a drag on the economy and the growth of our companies. Vivienne Ming says “Stop making your employees pay it. Stop paying it yourselves. Never accept ‘the pipeline’ as an excuse for your talent problems. Discrimination isn’t done by villains. It’s done by humans – by us. We haven’t failed because we are biased. We have failed when we do nothing about it.”

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Yikes! It’s the last day to sign up for the epic challenge! We kick off tomorrow and I’m so incredibly excited and humbled to the hundreds of you who have signed up. To those who are still on the fence…. I dare you, no I physical challenge you, to spend 15 minutes on yourself as a new world leader for the next 28 days.

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