Athena Chintis, the 164th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers in five years, is a human resources leader.
In other words, she navigates the complex world of workplace relations and human behaviour for a living.
It was fitting we met on International Women’s Day, because part of Athena’s role is to promote a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
As we discussed, while some people are intentionally discriminatory, many of us are unaware of our biases. So we need to look for ways to expose ourselves to a wider range of viewpoints and to consciously analyse our unconscious thoughts. Otherwise, we run the risk of misunderstanding and misjudging others.
Athena is head of HR at her company – which would be more than enough responsibility for most people. But Athena is also the NSW president of the Australian HR Institute, an association representing more than 20,000 members. So she’s got a heavy workload.
Athena loves sport, and, one day, she’d like to serve on the board of a professional sporting body.