Facebook’s Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams believes that “diversity of thought” is critical because it helps build “equal value” products for a global community.

Speaking to Euronews Next during the Changemakers series, Williams said that whilst diversity can mean different things to different companies, at Facebook “diversity of thought” – which is created by bringing people from different backgrounds together – has underpinned Facebook’s success in rolling out products around the world.

“Cognitive diversity is what we seek. That is to have teams where people think differently, because we know from the research that if you think differently, it gives you more advantage,” Williams told Euronews Next.

Williams also discussed practical ways in which companies of all sizes can measure and create more diversity in their workplace.

“It’s not enough to focus on changing hearts,” Williams said.

“You need to put systems in place to limit the operation of bias, so you get the behaviour you’re seeking which by the way, will allow everyone’s potential to be shown and to be leveraged so you can build better products.”

  • For more from Maxine Williams, watch the video below or visit Cannes Lions Live to see this episode of Changemakers in full.