Anna Curzon, Xero NZ Managing DirectorThere has never been a better time to get into STEM (science, technology engineering and maths).Anna Curzon, XeroAnna Curzon, New Zealand managing director at Xero, is now a regular speaker at leadership forums on digital transformation.Yet, early on in her career she says she was reticent to speak up even in meetings.\u201cI thought, gosh, I am so different, maybe I am not even in the same wavelength of the people here. Then I came to realise the lens I was providing was immensely valuable, because it provided a different perspective,\u201d says Curzon. \u201cAnd that was really important.\u201dPrior to joining the cloud software accounting firm, Curzon was GM Digital First at Spark and general manager marketing at ASB.At the bank, she held a raft of roles including chief manager strategic innovation, head of innovation and design, acting general manager for the contact centre and general manager internet banking.Thus, at a recent forum for GirlBoss NZ, which was set up by teenage girls to support their peers \u201cto be the best they can be\u201d, she shared this message.\u201cUnderstanding your value\u201d is important.Anna Curzon talks about Xero's goal of using big data and machine learning to alert SMBs of market 'headwinds'Anna Curzon at a panel discussion on cross border e-commerce at the 2016 Tripartite Economic Summit in AucklandThings change so quickly, you might find yourself disassociated from the community if you are not inviting fresh talent.Anna Curzon, Xero\u201cWhen you are in a meeting and you are different, it might be where you grew up, your gender. Whatever it is...celebrate that because you probably are one of the most valuable people in the room. You will provide a different lens into that conversation,\u201d she says. \u201cWe all know there are too many studies that absolutely point to the fact boards and executive teams, and every team, do better when you have more diversity and more lenses for problems to solve for customers.\u201dAnother theme she is passionate with is ensuring New Zealand has a steady pipeline of people going into science and technology.\u201cThere has never been a better time to get into STEM (science, technology engineering and maths),\u201d she says.\u201cThe new language of code is something that should be taught at school, because it is going to be key to our success as a country to compete in the world stage.\u201d\u201cSoftware will play an enormous part of the business - it will be the core of business,\u201d she says.As well, the private sector should be working closely with government to be \u201cfuelling this pipeline of talent\u201d.\u201cWe have this amazing opportunity in New Zealand to be this petri dish of having close public and private sector relationships, to build a generation that can take the world at a global scale.\u201dWhatever it is, if you are feeling different, celebrate that because you probably are one of the most valuable people in the room. You will provide a different lens into that conversation.Anna Curzon, XeroShe is also a strong supporter of the need for companies to provide internships for young people."You do have to invest in new staff," says Curzon, who started at ASB as a graduate trainee.\u201cThe risk of large organisations is just cadence, doing the same thing year after year after year.\u201cThe importance of getting new and diverse thinking is, it will really challenge you to break that cadence and go, \u2018actually, what problems are we trying to solve?'''We have an excellent opportunity to break the cadence of the past and redesign the future,'' she states. \u201cThings change so quickly, you might find yourself disassociated from the community if you are not inviting fresh talent.\u201dXero NZ Managing Director Anna Curzon; Small Business Minister, Craig Foss; and ASB Chief Economist, Nick Tuffley at the launch of Xero Signals.The \u2018L\u2019 word: Will digitisation change our view of leadership?Send news tips and comments to email@example.comFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.Join us on Facebook.Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn.\nThe group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, CDOs, COOs, CTOs and senior IT\nmanagers.