In episode #76 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were so excited to be joined by Mark Johns, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Switch Media.
In this episode we spoke a lot about Diversity and Inclusion, and Mark was able to give us excellent insight from his tenure, as well as how organisations can boost D&I through better interview strategies and also being located in diverse cities.
We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.
Diversity & Inclusion: what advice would you give to organizations when it comes to improving this?
How have you seen the issue surrounding diversity change over your career?
Over my career, it has absolutely changed, massively. I mean, we’re in a much better place now than we were when I started out in 1991!
Everyone was a white, generally bearded male. Now, in the radio world – it’s just completely the opposite, there’s opportunities for everybody no matter who you are, or where you come from. It’s so fantastic in comparison from where it used to be. However, it took quite a long time to change. But, the rate of change the last 10 years has been a lot faster.
And, being in a country like Australia, and a city like Sydney – diversity is everywhere. And, it’s actually one of the reasons that we decided to move back here.
We did a for and against list! We were living in Cornwall, in the UK at the time which is obviously a beautiful part of the world, but absolutely no diversity at all. We thought to ourselves, we don’t want the children growing up, thinking that this is what the world looks like. So, Sydney is a little bit like London, but with more culture! The food is amazing.
What ideas or advice would you have for the industry when it comes to improving that diverse talent?
I take one specific example, although it’s not actually my example. It’s one that I stole from being in somebody else’s office. But there was a lady who came for an interview, and she was from Iran – and hadn’t had any success at all.
She had incredible qualifications, a Microprocessor Engineer I think. And in their company, they had a policy of letting anyone interview (not just managers), and she was given no opportunity because of who she was. So, the interview process had to change to avoid bias and give individuals the best opportunity possible.
How do we open that door for people?
There’s always the risk of confirmation bias, even from a skikllset point of view, or because someone resonates with you more. So, it’s all about opening up that interview process and giving others opportunities. It can only be a positive thing. We do it all the time – and it works for us.
To listen to the full episode, click here.
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