He said: “I’ve never really looked at the characteristics of an individual. I don’t want to say I’ve ever been blind to something, because to be blind to something would mean that you don’t recognise the differences, but I have always just tried to get the very best people for the company.”
Tessar said his philosophy had underpinned the company’s approach to hiring staff, saying Civic had “benefited from 30 years of proving to myself that it works that way”.
He said: “It goes all the way back to grade school. When I was in fifth grade there was this girl who was the best athlete in school up through to sixth grade, and when choosing a team in the ball yard I’d always pick her first because I just wanted to win. I didn’t care about the optics, I just wanted to be the best and I think when it comes to business, it’s exactly the same thing.”
Tessar’s views are in stark contrast to those of Patty Arvielo, the co-founder and president of New American Funding (NAF), who champions diversity by actively promoting affirmative action programs.