In defense of diversity

Only speaking from experience, and not generalising for anyone. Firms are increasingly hiring professionals from varied backgrounds, not just for diversity but for breaking down silos and assimilating a diversity of experiences and skills into the organisation to make it better.
Law firms for instance. When graduating from the LSE seven years ago, I applied to a firm and was offered traineeship. This was at a time work visas weren’t open for Indian students studying in the UK. Law firms were one of the very few who were open to sponsoring visa. At the startup where I joined to build and lead digital teams, we consciously would make decisions about hiring from a diverse pool. I had tons of leadership lessons, the most valuable was that diversity of experiences, skillsets would help break org. silos and accelerate growth.
Now, having worked in many industries – from leading digital in news companies and in digital real estate, art tech and b2b fashion startups, and now in research and writing, I can say that diversity of experiences remains the most valuable asset for any field or industry.However, in certain places – more than others – there is resistance to recognising and accepting diverse skillsets. Imagine what an ecosystem that rewards diversity of skillsets and experience will gain? It’ll help cut down transaction costs by mapping skillets to suitable tasks.
Often, I have seen a mismatch. People who do not understand digital can learn digital from those who know it from work ex. People who are great with data can help people who are novices. People who’ve real work experience in marketing can teach marketing with real life insights.
The simple point is this: efficient resource allocation doesn’t just drive organisations and systems. It rewards individuals and motivates them more to do better. But then, to be able to do that, it needs a mindset change. At the News Corp startup where I managed audience engagement, we decided training modules for firms resistant to embracing digital transformation of their companies. The core of those modules was how to drive a mindset change. I reckon, how much of this is related to culture. Culture is slow to change, and permeates every part of life. The only way to accelerate change is to make room for diversity. Those who don’t, will fail and resist change, promote echo chambers that makes no real contribution to anything. That sort of applies anywhere.
I am very sceptical of places where learning is siloed, and industry experience is undermined.

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