Margaret Heffernan: 3 TED Talks, Research & Books-Making A New Case for Business Diversity

TFRZ_Podcast_GuestSpeaker_Heffernan copy

In this episode, speaker, author and international business leader, Margaret Heffernan, talks about her book, “Woman on Top”. She gives a few reasons why some women were able to start a business and achieve more with less.

Then, she gives her opinion about gender equality in the corporate world. She explains why past diversity campaigns failed and what can be done to change the mindset of leaders about this issue. She shares her experience meeting Ted Childs, a diversity champion who is working with IBM and a few other companies.

Next, Margaret gives us a quick glimpse of her TEDx book, “Beyond Measure” – where she teaches how companies can make little steps to create big changes in their culture.

Lastly, she explains how her mindset was changed when networking with different kinds of people. She shares how treating others well eventually led to many of her successes. Plus, Margaret talks about her book, “Willful Blindness” and explains why we turn our heads away from the facts that may hurt ourselves or the ones we love.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

• Why do women start their own businesses.
• The things corporations can do to change their culture and make it more gender neutral.
• The value of building alliances when you have very little to begin with.


• I’m not sure anybody can be gender neutral. I think we are all biased in favor of people like ourselves.
• The less you have, the more you do for others.
• If you don’t have access to institutional power, then you become very good at having access to social power.
• Many of the changes in the workplace that women want and had worked for hugely benefit men.

Big Takeaways:

• Diversity programs will continue to fail unless we realize that this is a business case; it’s not about social justice, fairness or discrimination.
• Building allegiance with other minorities will help diversity initiatives move forward and reach their respective objectives.
• For people to collaborate, organization need to encourage a high level of trust, generosity and reciprocity – behaviors which sociologists describe as having high levels of social capital.

Margaret’s TED Talks:


Related Links & References:

• Margaret Heffernan official website:
• Women on the Top official link: Women on the Top: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Rewriting the Rules of Business Success
• Margaret’s Twitter handle:
• Ted Childs official website:
• Beyond Measure official link: Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes
• Willful Blindness official link: Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.