My name is Carol, I’m a black female immigrant living in Europe who is committed to opening exclusive networks to diversity. Why? Because a well-functioning society depends on diverse people for innovation, better discussions and good ideas in general.

I was born in the U.S., left years ago but still belong to clubs that only Americans can join. I was educated at universities with well-connected alumni networks. I get invited to all sorts of events that I often have no interest in attending so I often don’t go. I know how networks work but I also know that not all networks are open to even me. I’ve benefited from tremendous help from kind people who helped me along the way, get inside the closed spaces in the past. Now I want to give that chance to everyone else who deserves the opportunity.

I’ve had the experience of taking someone new with me I’ve watched how it creates connections for them from just being there. In that closed space is where deals happen, connections get made and relationships are born. But as long as we have spaces that are closed to others, missing diversity by default, then we will continue to live in an unfair situation and we will all miss opportunities that would have come from the flow of ideas.

Network is everything, especially if you don’t have one. But I can’t change this alone, we all have to do this together. There is no money involved with participating.

Use your network capital for good by giving diversity back into your network. Breakdown barriers, open the old boys clubs, sidestep those warm referrals. Everyone wins here.