Diversity a key to success

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is an engineer, inspiring activist, and Formula One enthusiast who founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation that works towards positive change for young people of all backgrounds and diversities.

She spoke at the Allianz Insurance Thought Leadership Session on what the future might look like in terms of diversity and embracing emerging trends.

She gave us an insight into the mind of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Australian and spoke about some of the interesting trends, where they’ve come from, what’s happening at the moment, based on that, what to expect going forward and the opportunities that result from that.

She started with telling the audience “Anyone who tells you they know what the future holds is kidding themselves.”

She said “I think it’s exciting the pace at which things are changing and how much opportunity that brings to people who are willing to embrace change.”

“We are living in times when every week there is something massive happening & we can’t afford to be complacent. Tech will affect everything across the board, we can either take advantage of the opportunity or wait for situations to hit us.”

She spoke about stereotypes, bias and how they affect the bottom line in businesses. She said “Studies have shown businesses with higher gender and racial diversity have more sales and offer better customer experience.”

She also stressed the fact that diverse teams can only do well if people are taught to manage diverse teams better.

She spoke of incidents in her life that taught her the importance of keeping communications channels open to people who may have differing views. “Honestly, I think what we must do is start by truly listening, which doesn’t mean agreeing but it will bring about better understanding”.

She also spoke about young people doing incredibly inspiring things with limited resources and said young professionals are the future of every industry and are a resource that needs to be used better.