How to Cultivate Diversity and Equity in the Workplace – Recap of the 2024 IWD Roundtable

How to Cultivate Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

On March 8th, 2024, the world jointly celebrated women by marking the day as International Women’s Day. Jobberman joined the frontline of changemakers trying to inspire inclusion by hosting a virtual panel session with four outstanding women in different industries, especially the talent acquisition space.

The topic was Strategies for Cultivating Diversity and Equity in the Workplace. Jobberman’s awe-inspiring Head of People & Culture, Samantha Ifezulike, moderated the session.


The workplace is populated with both male and female workers. However, in most industries, the ratio of males is much higher than females.

The highlight of this discussion was to speak pointedly on how to change the narrative, aiming to create a more balanced representation of women alongside men.

Who were the speakers?

  • Abby Asekun (Executive Director, Future Perspectives)
  • Joy Aguah (Talent Acquisition Manager,  Baker Hughes)
  • Olaoluwa Abagun (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Expert)
  • Abimbola Oluwole-Oyedepo (Senior Manager, Customer Experience, MTN Nigeria. (Advisory Committee Member, Women at Y’ello initiative)
Roadblocks to inclusion and diversity in the workplace

Roadblocks to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace

  • Unconscious biases and socio-cultural norms. These norms and biases exist because people created them. They’re responsible for the overt and covert pushbacks to DEI. – Olaoluwa.
  • Performativity is also another roadblock. People have the tendency to talk a lot about DEI without the accompanying actions to effect the change they talk about. – Olaoluwa.
  • The perception of women. Women are perceived as being emotional and thus unable to lead or take up leadership roles. – Abby Asekun.

However, the emotional side of women actually lends credence to their intuition, empathy and ability to multitask. But generally, this is one strong roadblock to women taking up more spaces in key positions in the workspace. – Samantha.

How to deal with diversity and inclusion roadblocks

How to Deal with Roadblocks to Diversity in the Workplace

  • The first step is to actively address societal norms and cultural biases rather than just talk about them. Anyone with the power to make decisions that influence the ratio of women to men in the workplace should do well to push for it. – Olaoluwa

That isn’t to say talent hunters should let underqualified women in the door. It’s a matter of giving more women a chance provided they meet the requirements and not based on their gender. 

  • Make the talent acquisition process inclusive in general. Start with the job descriptions.. Women are more careful when applying to jobs than men. It’s also important to be conscious of biases when screening candidates. – Joy Aguah
  • Have male allies by broadening the conversation and showing the men the different biases that also affect them like affinity bias, authority bias and other types of biases. That way, they become more conscientious about how to foster DEI all round. – Olaoluwa & Abby.
Strategies for cultivating diversity and equity in the workplace

Takeaway – How to Cultivate Diversity and Equity in the Workplace

  1. Be proactive in letting in more women into your organisation if you’re a key decision-maker in that regard
  2. Make the talent acquisition process more inclusive by making the job descriptions gender-neutral.
  3. Create an enabling environment for women already in the workplace to express themselves. 
  4. Organise DEI trainings to promote diversity.
  5. Have male allies by broadening the conversation on biases.
  6. Close the gaps in learning and development to include women in every level of team growth.

The Jobberman IWD 2024 Roundtable drew attention to the challenges corporate organisations face in fostering diversity and inclusion. Each speaker provided valuable insights on systematically advancing inclusivity through deliberate actions, step by step.

Watch the replay for the full conversation.

Thelma Nwosu
An eclectic content writer and storyteller, leveraging psychology, PR & effective marketing strategies to bridge the gap between brands and their audience.
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