Skip to content

Valuable Discussions at the Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Leads

12 members of the industry sit and discuss around a round white table.

Inclusion Program Manager Inge Woudstra regularily brings together a diverse selection of leaders in digital infrastructure industry to discuss their challenges and learnings. 

Below are some of the challenges that were discussed in the most recent meeting in April of 2024. 

Challenge: Where to find more about inclusion in the industry and who to partner with?

This question was asked by a Diversity and Inclusion professional who is new to the industry. Members pointed to resources on inclusion in the industry, and suggested the report recently published by iMWomen on Fostering Gender Inclusion in the industry. Next, they shared which companies in the industry are most active in Inclusion. Finally they recommended she looks at projects and events from iMasons Membership Resource Groups: Armed Forces, Emerging Talent, Embrace, iMWomen and LatinX, as well as iMasons Education Initiatives as bringing more diversity into the industry is part of the design of iMasons’ education projects. 


Challenge: What are the key Inclusion issues in another country?

Another member was looking for what inclusion issues are prominent in a specific country, and as a result was connected to a member in that country and being invited to an inclusion event in that country. 


Challenge: How to bring people along with Inclusion?

The group discussed how to bring others along with inclusion, and ideas shared included:  

  1. Ensure the key message is, ‘inclusion is about you’  – Instead of talking about diversity as if this was about others, ensure your message speaks to the person, so they can see, this is about themselves, or their family. Even if a person isn’t visibly different, they may have a family member in a same sex relationship, or who is neurodivergent and all of us move through the generations. Explain that the company needs to be a great place to work for everyone, so everyone is engaged and has the opportunity to grow and thrive. That includes them.‘
  2. Focus on the benefits inclusion brings to attracting and retaining talent – Talent is a common challenge and finding ways to attract and retain talent sustainably is something everyone is concerned about. Inclusion addresses that challenge is it helps to widening the talent pool, and ensures people are more likely to stay and thrive. 
  3. Show how inclusion is relevant to their role – Inclusion is for instance relevant to salespeople. Clients regularly ask for inclusion credentials in the bid process. The person responsible for inclusion can then support salespeople by sharing programs such as a diverse suppliers program.
  4. Make business benefits tangible, measure ROI – Inclusion projects can for instance help in building stronger relationships with clients and suppliers. Suggest to salespeople they share about inclusion projects with clients or run a joint event on inclusion with clients and/or suppliers. Then aim to measure Return on Investment (ROI) by quantifying how that has impacted on the relationship and resulted in more business. In the building industry, wider stakeholders worked on a shared project, ‘How to build an inclusive environment (inclusive of race, of women)’. The project built relationships across the industry, increased goodwill in the community and had a positive impact on reputation. 

Contact if you want to join our roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Leads in June!

Meet the Trainer:

Inge Woudstra is the Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager for iMasons. She brings 10+ years of experience working as an independent consultant and trainer in Diversity and Inclusion.
Inge often work with leadership teams to create a strategy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), fostering comprehension and commitment to EDI.

Contact us

Please complete this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.