Founder of the diversity and inclusion consultancy, Inspired Human, Perrine Farque looks to irradicate discrimination in the workplace and beyond. Backed by her professional career in senior marketing roles within the technology sector, Perrine uses her own experience of exclusion as a drive for change.
Named as one of the Top 50 UK Women in Tech, Perrine provides inclusive strategies and training, increasing revenue by up to 20% for the businesses she works with. In this exclusive interview with Champions Speakers, Perrine shines a light on the importance of equality and shares what she has learnt from her entrepreneurial journey.
How important is it to you to inspire other women to take on leadership roles?
“This is what gets me up in the morning, it’s what makes my heartbeat fast and is what gives me my adrenaline. Making the world a better place by making it more diverse and inclusive, really is my drive.
“As a woman who worked in the corporate world for a decade, I sometimes felt excluded and have personally experienced what it feels like to not belong and that my voice didn’t matter. I use this experience of exclusion as my fuel and my motivation to do what I do.”
Could you tell me about your company, Inspired Human?
“We are a London-based diversity and inclusion agency, and we empower business leaders to leverage diversity to grow their business.”
What have you learned about business and leadership since you founded Inspired Human?
“Everything is about mindsets. Often people, businesses, and business leaders spend so much time and energy and effort running in all directions, but they don’t really have the right mindset. I’ve learned that we should pause and clarify our purpose before doing anything. By doing this exercise of clarifying our purpose, our ‘why’ and what motivates us, will centre us and will help us achieve our goals faster and in a more enjoyable way.”
Consider someone at the start of their entrepreneurial journey, what advice would you offer them?
“It’s about having the right mindset. Before you start, clarify your purpose and what drives you. Establish what really motivates you and why. Once you’ve clarified what motivates you and why it’s important to you, you will have the right mindset. And once you clarify and articulate your goals, it will be easier to go after your goals.”
What qualities constitute a good leader?
“I think a good leader is humble. They acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers and they understand that they don’t know what they don’t know. So, a good leader is willing to listen and learn new things.
“I actually think an exceptional leader proactively learns new things constantly and applies this knowledge to constantly adjust their business approach.”
What advice could you offer to those struggling in these unprecedented times?
“The Pandemic is a great time to start afresh. It really is the perfect time to start from scratch and really ask yourself, what do I really want out of life? – not just in the work sense. Figure out what really drives you. Ask yourself, what kind of life do I want? Did my pre-Covid life serve me well? And above all, what can I do differently to reach my most important goals in life?
“I think this is a great time to ask those kinds of questions and how can I use this new context to reach my goals? I think if you ask yourself quality questions, you’ll get quality answers. Focus on what you can control today to impact tomorrow.”
What does inclusivity and diversity mean to you and why are they important?
“I actually think diversity and inclusion is a way of life, it’s not the end goal – which I think sometimes people get confused about.
“I genuinely think if everyone lived a life where they surrounded themselves with different people and they make everybody feel included, the world would be a magnificent place. Diversity and inclusion brings belonging, trust, respect, collaboration, engagement, commitment, better decisions, appreciation of differences, innovation, and purpose. That’s what diversity and inclusion means to me.”
What are some of the negative effects that a lack of diversity and inclusion can have on a corporate team?
“I think there are lots of negative effects of a lack of diversity in the corporate world, from brand reputational damage to boycotts from consumers to a stagnant audience, employee turnover, customer turnover, lower engagement, lower productivity and discrimination, because people are all working in a very homogeneous workplace.
“All of this can lead to a lack of innovation, lower customer net promoter score, poor collaboration, poor morale, and difficulty to attract new talent – the list of negatives from a lack of diversity are really endless.”
What is your 1 tip for businesses wanting to create a more inclusive culture?
“I think increasing awareness – it is simple but true. Attend keynote sessions on the power of diversity to drive growth. Sign up to diversity training or workshops to work with diversity and inclusion experts. Join an unconscious bias training program, listen to a diversity podcast or read a book about diversity – educate yourself! The more awareness, the more you will learn how to do it and how to do it right.”
You mentioned in a previous interview that when you feel demotivated you ask yourself “what do I want to be remembered for” and from that, what do you want to be remembered for?
I really want to be remembered for empowering leaders and people to leverage diversity and inclusion as their competitive advantage. I want to be remembered for creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, but also a more diverse and inclusive society.”
If you could give yourself one piece of advice at the start of your career, what would it be?
I would definitely tell myself, ‘raise your standards’. I really think that the life we live is a reflection of our own standards. At the beginning of my career, I had the typical woman’s imposter syndrome – thinking I was not good enough. I think if you raise your own standards to where you want to be, everything will come together.”
Perrine Farque is just one of Champions Speakers’ range of diversity and inclusion speakerswho are available to book for virtual and live events.