Claire Lee of Silicon Valley Bank wants businesses to see diversity as a chance to grow.

Claire Lee is all about breaking down barriers. She made this very clear during her Inspirefest 2018 keynote, underlining the importance of diversity in business as a growth opportunity as well as simply the right thing to do.

Stereotypes abound in business, as do oft-repeated catchphrases such as “she’s not a cultural fit”. Lee told the crowd to ask themselves what that phrase truly means.

As a firm believer in sharing the wealth, she spoke passionately about the need to look beyond your comfort zone. The consequences for leaders who ignore diversity are grave. “If your culture doesn’t support diversity, your business will die.”

Different people bring different skills, outlooks and lived experiences. As for the perfect ingredients for a flourishing business? “If you have equality and full representation, you will thrive.”


Words by Ellen Tannam