Adjust the contrast: FAST launches diversity-focused podcast series


Adam Liaw

Australia’s leading finance broker aggregator, Finance & Systems Technology (FAST), has launched a new diversity-focused podcast series named Adjust the Contrast.

Hosted by Australian lawyer, TV presenter, author, and 2010 MasterChef winner Adam Liaw, the six-episode series* explores every facet of diversity, from what we can learn about diversity from nature and society, to how we can apply diversity in the workplace and turn it into opportunity.

Commenting on the launch of the series, FAST CEO Brendan Wright said: “In the face of growing business challenges, the case for diversity has never been stronger as many business leaders, owners and professionals are adapting their business models or approaches.”

“The Adjust the Contrast series is all about demonstrating how diversity can protect businesses from risk, but also how it can also create opportunity. Creating a culture that enables diverse thinking, knowledge and capability across the team can really help differentiate businesses so they stand out, particularly in a service-led industry.”

Each Adjust the Contrast episode discusses and debates the viewpoint of three different experts, ranging from the professional, economic, scientific, regulatory and sports fields.

Released yesterday, the first episode, The Case for Diversity, speaks to the benefits of diversity, in a business context, but also a wider social and natural context. It features:

  • Professor Lesley Hughes – Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University
  • Elizabeth Broderick – Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur
  • Stephen Koukoulas – Commentator and economist

Starting with biodiversity, this opening episode sets out the ways diversity works as a foundational force across nature and society, the benefits it brings, and the price that is paid for its absence or destruction. Citing example of how monoculture in food supply led to the great famine of Ireland, the discussion highlights that diversity is the norm in the world, and when systems ignore it, the consequences can be dire.

Adjust the Contrast’s host, Adam Liaw, said: “Diversity is a topic that frankly I often find exhausting. It gets discussed over and over again, from the same angles, without much insight and without much effect. But recording Adjust the Contrast has changed the way I look at diversity.

“Talking to global experts in fields as varied as biology, ethics and technology has highlighted aspects of the diversity debate that so often get missed. For example, we talk about innovation as being necessary for any modern business, but we ignore that diversity is a necessary driver of innovation. Through this podcast I’ve come to see diversity as not just a discussion point, but a practical tool for managing risk and creating opportunity,” he added.

Diversity in business

When it comes to embedding diversity and inclusion in business in a sustainable way, an important thing to remember is that the concept goes way beyond gender or age, it’s much more all-encompassing than that.

“Diversity needs to be at the heart of every conversation, every thought process and every decision-making process for it to be effective, and eventually become second-nature. It isn’t a one-size-fits all solution but an ongoing mindset that starts with the leader and goes all the way across the business,” Mr. Wright said.

The Adjust the Contrast series builds on FAST’s existing diversity and inclusion initiatives which include the FAST Women in Business series, encouraging more female business leaders in a traditionally male-dominated finance industry.

“At FAST, we’ve always believed in strength through diversity and have fostered a culture of diversity and inclusion. The results have shown greater productivity, more innovation, high employee engagement, customer advocacy and sustainable business growth.”

FAST’s Adjust the Contrast series is available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher.

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