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Diverse Teams Are Needed to Save the Planet

ENGINEERING HAS A white-male problem. Women make up just 14.5 percent of the engineering workforce in the United Kingdom, with ethnic minorities constituting just 8 percent.

For Lila Ibrahim, chief operating officer at DeepMind, and Hayaatun Sillem, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering, being both female and people of color meant the odds were stacked against them in their industry.

But for Sillem, who is the first woman and ethnic minority to hold her position, coming from such a diverse background helped her “to build empathy into her life”—a trait she describes as a superpower.

And as for Ibrahim, the daughter of immigrants to the United States, she always felt like the “oddball” growing up in midwestern America. “What that has meant throughout my career is that there’s been doors opened to me that others might not embrace, because I can see things from a slightly different perspective,” she said at WIRED Impact this November.

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