Closing Keynote Opens Eyes: Mawulom Nenonene on Embedding DEI

Article main image
Jun 23, 2021
This article is part of a series called SourceCon Digital Conference.

In the closing keynote on day three of SourceCon digital, LTSE Head of Talent, Mawulom Nenonene, shared his insightful and inspirational approach to designing equitable and sustainable hiring practices.

Drawing from his rich background as a Recruiter, Startup Advisor, and Belonging Advocate, Mawulom’s session highlighted how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can be embedded into the hiring process with intention and pre-planning. 

Mawulom opened his keynote with a simple but poignant question – who are you?

In his view, Talent Professionals are gatekeepers that can create opportunities for underrepresented communities to generate lasting wealth.

Embedding DEI into hiring processes begins with critical conversations between talent teams and hiring managers.

These conversations should focus on keeping representation top of mind and designing high-performing teams.

Talent professionals across industries are tasked with using their subject matter expertise to build, drive, and iterate hiring systems. In addition to facilitating key conversations, increasing representation requires data-driven sourcing strategies. 

Mapping the market, casting a wide net, and engaging underrepresented communities are essential steps.

One memorable anecdote Mawulom shared was of The Mo-Rule, named after his late colleague, Mohamed Elalem. The Mo-Rule ensures that there is a 1:1 ratio of underrepresented to represented candidates at the onsite interview stage. 

Mawulom offered the Mo-Rule as an alternative to the Rooney Rule which requires that “at least one woman and one underrepresented minority be considered for every senior position.” (Source)

Finally, Mawulom shared concrete examples of how companies can use processes to foster mindsets that support equitable hiring practices. From delivering structured interviews to training interviewers, talent teams can begin to consistently measure what matters towards equitable change. 

Additionally, Mawulom recommends that interview selection processes focus on a candidate’s culture-add as opposed to “culture-fit.”

Mawulom noted that what most organizations miss in their process design is that by embedding DEI does more than level the playing field. It also unlocks a company’s ability to hire the best talent.

Ending his session in the same way that he opened it, Mawulom asks, “Who are we?” 

Far more than order takers, resume wranglers, and reactive paper pushers, today’s talent acquisition professional is uniquely positioned to positively impact the lives of countless underrepresented candidates. 

Mawulom’s message reminds us that we have everything we need at this moment to effect change, both today and for years to come. To read more, check out Mawulom’s article series here


This article is part of a series called SourceCon Digital Conference.