Now, no one can accuse me of not taking on the big issues in this podcast, and this one is particularly vexed because, although there's almost universal acceptance of the value that a diverse team brings to an organisation, very few organisations actually have a diverse workforce. 

In this episode, we question why it’s so hard to create this. I’ll go straight to the punchline - there is no silver bullet: it takes time, effort and the right approach through every level of the business. 

I try and cover this topic as simply as I can, and that starts with examining our own belief systems. From there I cover: 

  • Why it is so hard to build diversity at the top level

  • A quick note on reverse discrimination, privilege and unconscious bias (this one is going to take some self-reflection)

  • The different types of diversity we need in our organisations - gender is an obvious one, but there are also other areas of discrimination such as industry and function background

  • The need to balance the ‘diversity premium’ with individual capability when building a high performing team

  • Being aware of hiring in our own likeness, and how dangerous this is

  • How organisations need to make the commitment not to do ‘dumb sh!t’ when it comes to penalising great, talented women who want to step out of the workforce for a period of time to start a family

  • A great recently released study from McKinsey and Co about the differences between the way men and women are treated in the workplace - this is based on four years of data from over 460 companies employing almost 20 million people, so it’s pretty solid data 

  • The pay parity question and a quite detailed example of how my team created a “pay parity guarantee” whilst I was CEO at CS Energy

  • Why it can be difficult to bring balance to a senior leadership team based on the available candidates

  • My key learning around how to ensure that strong, diverse candidates are developed (hint: you need to start early and build it from the ground up)

  • Nine ways to foster diversity in your team or organisation - I’ve put those points in an easy to follow PDF for you which you can download at

This episode is one of the grittier ones. I’m not proclaiming to be a diversity guru, and I definitely regret not being able to move faster on this critical issue when I was at CS Energy, however the learnings I had whilst I was trying to make changes were invaluable. I hope they enable you to reflect upon this topic with a different perspective! 

As always, I’d love to know what you thought of this episode, and if you have any extra tips or strategies on increasing workplace diversity, so please shoot me an email at

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