Please help me be less stale

stale senior leadership team

Pale, male and stale” is often how the makeup of senior teams, boards and committees are described. I myself am white, male, nearly 55. Hmm.

The photo above was tweeted out by Christine Lagarde when she, as new President of the ECB (European Central Bank) held a retreat for her governing council. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you:

  • Male: 25 people around the table, 24 are men.
  • Pale: Yes, every single person around the table is white
  • Stale: Age is just a number, but I’d hazard a guess that the average age of that group is at least mid-50s or higher.

I can’t do anything about being Pale and Male, but my request today is for you to help me be less Stale! My specific request is for introductions of new guests for my weekly show, #WhatComesNext.Live.

Since I started this, of the 10 guests so far, 7 are men, 3 are women. Delving further, all are white, all are native English speakers, even the fact that 3 are fellow Scots shows that those I have brought onto the show so far are not as diverse as they could be.

I note that each of them is brilliant and full of unique thoughts (you can watch or listen to all of the past shows on the show page), however, the stats above show I am being “stale” in truly bringing forward diverse ideas from diverse people.

I really want to bring in people beyond my network in all areas and from all backgrounds. In fact, a recent guest, Jerry Frentsos, was someone introduced to me and our show was my first conversation with him and it was full of brilliant thoughts from him (despite him being white, male, and, “cough”, 55!).

So, please refer new people as guests for the show to me, and particularly those who are from varied and different backgrounds to those that have come on before. Thank you!


Also published on Medium.