Want to unlock innovation? Diversity is the critical factor in market growth, according to Diversity and Market Growth, research undertaken by The Center for Talent Innovation.
More women in any field will lead to more innovation and better products and services — and will get the economic engine steaming along. “If we hope to accelerate growth in the global economy, we cannot afford to leave out half the population,” said Cindy Padnos, founder and managing partner of Illuminate Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.
Padnos gave me the quote for my book Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, but it resonated loudly as I started to write an article about two women, Amelia Baxter of WholeTrees Architecture and Structures and Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors. Both are shaking up the sleepy agriculture industry with products that use sustainably grown plants and trees to replace highly polluting materials.
Amelia Baxter and her cofounder, Roald Gundersen, developed a process for turning waste trees (small trees routinely discarded during forest thinnings) into a replacement for steel, concrete and milled lumber used for beams, columns and trusses in building construction. “Round timber that hasn’t been milled is as strong as steel,” said Baxter. “It also mitigates the huge amount of waste created in the manufacturing of steel and milled lumber.” WholeTrees also developed a methodology for grading the round timber to classify its strength. Round timber is plentiful and a renewable resource.