The power of difference – In Conversation with Simon Fanshawe


In the latest in our ‘In Conversation’ series, our Board Member Elizabeth Baxter talks to ‘Provocateur with a Purpose’ and fellow Board Member Simon Fanshawe about how collaborating through difference can help navigate today’s challenges in our sector and beyond.  

In a conversation ranging from what it means to be an inclusive leader to how to recruit for difference – via Heineken ads, Benedict Cumberbatch and the power of inclusive dance – they explore how achieving true diversity ‘is not spicing up the stew, but changing the recipe’.

“In businesses, people are saying that diversity means this set of rules. Well, no, what diversity means is precisely the opposite – it means the valuing of difference, not the attempt to create rules that create conformity.”

Looking at his career from founding Stonewall to advising organisations today, and drawing on their own personal career experiences, Elizabeth and Simon’s thought-provoking conversation explores theories on diversity and inclusion and presents powerful examples on how it can truly work.

“The whole point of POWERful Women is saying you will get a better solution, better and more imaginative ways through the energy transition if we start to combine difference.”

Watch the video here.

About Simon:

Simon Fanshawe OBE is a co-founder and partner of Diversity by Design, a ground-breaking consultancy that works with organisations to develop diversity solutions in response to strategic questions in order to build greater performance,  and is a Board Member of POWERful Women.

Simon was a co-founder of one of the most successful lobby and campaign groups in recent times, the lesbian and gay equality organisation Stonewall. He is now a co-founder of the Kaleidoscope Trust, supporting LGBTI activists abroad. Simon is a broadcaster, writer and pundit. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2013 for services to Higher Education and he was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Sussex for services to diversity and human rights in 2013. His latest book “THE POWER OF DIFFERENCE – where the complexities of diversity and inclusion meet practical solutions” was published in December 2021 by Kogan Page. Find out more at

About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Baxter is Director of Project Finance at Sonnedix, a global solar independent power producer backed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. She leads the origination and execution of project finance lending for solar power projects in the UK and Europe. Before joining Sonnedix, Elizabeth was a Principal Banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where she financed almost a billion euros of power and energy projects and companies in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa over eleven years. Elizabeth began her career in investment management at Lehman Brothers in New York. She has a Bachelor in Economics and International Studies from Yale College and a Masters in Management and Strategy from the London School of Economics.

The Power of Difference by Simon Fanshawe (published by Kogan Page),aps,82&sr=8-1



More about CanDoCo Dance Company here:

Jim Collins, Good to Great:

Peter Drucker’s management theory:

Measurement Myopia from the Drucker Institute

“What gets measured gets managed” — It’s wrong and Drucker never said it” by Danny Buerkli – Centre for Public Impact April 8th 2019

Matthew Syed, Rebel Ideas:

Cass Sunstein:

Sustainable Hydrogen Centre for Doctoral Training (SuSHy)