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Mastercard boss Ajay Banga bats for workplace diversity, calls it a 'key component in strength'

Recently, Banga was feted with the Ellis Island Medal of Honour.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 19, 2019, 08.06 AM IST
Alternate Option_Mastercard_Ajay Banga_President and Chief Executive Officer, Mastercard
Surround yourself with different people with different experiences, says Mastercard top boss Ajay Banga.
Surround yourself with different people with different experiences, says Mastercard top boss Ajay Banga.

Ajay Banga, CEO, Mastercard, has often shared his thoughts on the need for diversity in the global workforce, and the necessity of embracing all races, cultures and genders. According to him, the only way to do this is to be able to celebrate, at an individual level, what makes us different.

“It’s on each of us to keep that as a common foundation, no matter where we are,” Banga told ETPanache during a recent interaction. “Think about it — for any company or even for society to succeed, we have to acknowledge that diversity is a key component in strength. That is diversity in thought and perspective, diversity in skills and resources, and diversity in revenue streams and innovation.”

And Banga has a simple solution for inclusion. “We have to surround ourselves with people who don’t look the same and have had different experiences. It is the best way to ensure we don’t fall victim to the same blind spots again and again and again,” he said. Cause and effect Banga’s efforts as a champion of diversity have not gone unnoticed. This year, he has been the recipient of two awards — the Empower Ethnic Minority Role Model 2 019 and the Ellis Island Medal of Honour.

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According to Banga, receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honour, which has also been awarded to Muhammad Ali, Jacqueline Kennedy, centenarian marathon runner Fauja Singh, and Malala Yousafzai to name a few, was not just a personal milestone, but also an achievement for people of Indian-origin.

“The first person I called when I received the news was Ritu, my wife,” Banga said. “This is a highly respected and recognised award. If I look back, when I first came out of graduate school, I had no clue what I was going to do with my life other than get a job with a great global firm. For a guy like me to be recognised in this way is something special. Ritu and I celebrated with the other honourees at the ceremony they held in May.”
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