diversity in business

When I was younger, I found it hard to get into the event industry. I was full of passion, drive, and commitment even when I was 16, becoming independent and getting into the working world has always felt more important than studying.

I didn’t particularly enjoy school. But I didn’t hate it either, I’m not sure I’m suited to the structure and methods of teaching. I did alright but had no interest in going to uni.

That decision closed more doors for me than I understood at the time. I remember feeling wholly disheartened seeing so many jobs I knew I could do, but not applying because a degree was mandatory. Most of the time, I couldn’t work out why it was compulsory, and what part of a degree in science helped an event manager. But, eventually, I got a chance to start at the bottom and work my way up. Incidentally, that’s worked out better for me, as there’s no job I could give to someone which I haven’t done myself.

One of the great things about working in events is that you can span across different sectors. I used to work in a niche area of finance, where the pool of candidates for jobs was incredibly strict. Everyone followed the same process from school to uni, to internships. They worked for a handful of companies and went to a handful of unis.

Surprise surprise, the kind of people they employed were very similar. I met thousands of people each year at that job, and most of them had followed a very similar path.

It always struck me as strange but safe. I guess the employers do that so there’s less risk. But I’ve always thought about what they’re missing. What about all those people, like me, who chose not to go to uni or couldn’t afford to study? Do they not have valuable contributions to make? If anything, I think people who didn’t go to uni are often grafters because they’ve had to work hard to get a foot in the door.

These experiences have lead to one of my core beliefs: running a business without the diversity of thought is crazy. If you have the same input, you have the same output. We can all learn from each others backgrounds, experience and cultures. I don’t think it’s possible as humans ever to stop learning.

My main reason for travelling is to support heterogeneity. Seeking experiences which are out of the comfort of my cosy, safe walls in Rochester will only expand my knowledge, appreciation and influence from other great cultures and humans.

In my opinion, diversity should be less about appearance and more about the diversity of thought. That means employing people from all kind of different backgrounds and cultures, giving everyone a fair chance to have their creativity seen and heard. I’m driven to create those roles and opportunities. The thought of having a team from all sorts of walks of life excites me, as the opportunity which comes with that level of multifariousness is exciting.

This is an inherent value of mine and therefore, the businesses I run. I write these posts as conversation starters, not as one-way dialogues. So please do drop me an email, DM on Instagram, or text if you’d rather. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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