172: Blended – The World Stage

Welcome to the fourth episode of our brand-new show, Blended.

Blended is all about opening up conversations and giving the mic to all of the underrepresented voices in our industry – women, the LGBTQIA+ community, people of colour, those with disabilities, whether they’re visible or hidden, and many more.

Today in Episode 4, ‘The World Stage,’ we’re going to be looking at diversity and inclusion from a worldwide perspective. What does it look like for our panellists; how does it vary by country, or continent; what are the conversations that are being had across the globe; and how can we join together to shape a better future.


[03.03] Introductions to our Blended panellists.

  • Jenna – CEO & Co-Founder at Shipamax, based in the UK
  • Nissrine – Supply Chain Advisor, originally from Morocco, raised in France and living in United Arab Emirates
  • Demostenes (Demo) – Latin America Supply Chain Business Strategist, born and raised in Panama
  • Akta – Co-Founder & CEO at Nomadory, born and raised in India and living in the USA
  • Andrea – Senior Economist at Export Development Canada, born in Chile and raised in Canada

“I think about diversity from the perspective of embracing differences – and it’s beyond just your ethnicity or your race or where you were raised.” Akta

[15.09] The panellists experiences of diversity and inclusion around the world.

  • How Akta’s parents broke from patriarchal tradition in her upbringing; but working in investment banking, she still found herself the only woman on the trading floor
  • Jenna’s perspective through European eyes, and the difference between being a diverse city and having that diversity actually represented in the workplace
  • Education bias, and its damaging trickledown effect
  • Andrea’s perspective on integrating, accessing opportunity and thriving as an immigrant
  • Nissrine’s contradictory experience of equality in the UAE, from a push towards gender equality to a shying away from equality in the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Education and qualifications as a part of culture, and both the positive and negative impact
  • Demo’s experience of being surrounded by strong, professional women and how that influenced him in the workplace

“We have a very diverse city… but there’s a difference between having a diverse population and being inclusive as a society.” Jenna

[49.01] Individual experiences and the groups reactions.

  • Jenna’s experience of gender bias in fundraising; the questions that are asked and playing the game, whether that’s adapting to or challenging, that bias
  • How a male dominated culture has historically held back talent
  • How an international work experience encouraged Andrea to understand the importance of encouraging openness on a corporate scale, not just a personal one
  • The importance of advocacy and honesty
  • Andrea’s take on the dialogue around pronouns and the danger of assumptions
  • Why Demo created the first woman-only panel in Panama

“It comes down to the intentions in those conversations – is the intention to understand or learn more?… We can’t rely on marginalized communities to educate us.” Andrea

[77.35] The benefits of actively seeking out and nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment.

  • Awareness and actively fighting subconscious bias
  • The different perspectives that come from different industries and experiences
  • Improved decision making, problem-solving and productivity
  • Improved creativity and innovation
  • Unlocking your potential and sense of purpose, and the power to be found in being – and being allowed to be – your best authentic self

“We all have a responsibility as a human being to include everyone.” Nissine

[87.31] How do we find a way to work together to keep driving diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity?

  • Embracing differences
  • Avoid associating genders with particular traits
  • Speaking up
  • Influencing the group you feel comfortable with, whether that’s home, work or community
  • The power of social media
  • Being vulnerable

“It’s about finding balance in the team of different perspectives… Having that balance helped us to be more successful, and grow faster.” Demo

[96.09] The panellists sum up their key takeaways from today’s discussion.

  • Ask – Demo
  • Keep talking – Jenna
  • Be accountable – Akta
  • Empathy – Nissrine
  • Be vulnerable – Andrea



You can connect with Demo, Jenna, Akta, Nissrine and Andrea over on LinkedIn.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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