Sylvia Hewlett consults organizations worldwide on the value of diversity in their ranks. In her conversation with Big Think this afternoon, she had one message for companies: shun women and minorities at your peril.

Task Force Director at the Center for Work-Life Policy, Hewlett is regularly turned to for her expertise on leveraging minority talent.

A recession, Hewlett said, was an optimal time for managers to consider the value of diversity in their companies. She reflected that an organizational lack of women and minorities is not only a drain on human capital but, more importantly, doesn't reflect the demographics of the professional globe at the moment.

Two particular trouble spots, Hewlett noted, were India and China where "sophisticated takes on the value of diversity" like hers are not even on most companies' radars.