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Our networks are usually formed around shared experiences and they influence the way we see the work, how we think and the opportunities we give and receive.
So a lack of diversity inside our networks can propagate inequitable systems and create echo chambers of perspectives.
They usually comprise the colleagues we work with (team members or project collaborators). It may not seem like it, but we do have a lot of influence over the broader makeup of these networks.
We choose the people we spend time with (at lunch or coffee), the people we mentor or the people we seek advice from. Being intentional about the diversity of that network will result in better decision making for us and our companies.
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Zipf's law is a mathematical probability that states that in a given set, the most frequently used data value (or word) is used twice as often as the next most common value. This is true in various statistical sets like income distribution in companies, internet traffic, phone calls received, and language.
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When six to eight people are conversing at a dinner party, it is easy to focus on one conversation, but if the number is higher (say 15), then two-way conversations are more likely.
When groups get larger, the change is exponential, not linear, affecting one's social experience.
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Friendships create diversity. Your chances of dealing with certain problems are increased if you have friends with different skillsets.
If friendship becomes another checkbox on your to-do list, you're probably going to miss out on good friendships.
If we put in some effort into learning how to become a good friend, the rest will come easier. With friendships, we live longer, with more laughter, less fear, and a higher quality of life.