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Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Ableism

April 26, 2023 @ 13:00 - 15:00 CEST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is imperative for a sustainable, competitive and innovative company and society at large. Diversity also goes beyond the outward perception of a company – it includes how the internal structures work and signal the value systems of an organization’s management or leadership team.

This series is designed by Diversify to centre Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace. We look forward to seeing you!

In honour of World Autism Acceptance Month, our topic for April is Ableism. You are not the norm. How we uphold ableist systems and why we should stop.


We live in a world that is inherently ableist because the systems and structures put in place were not made keeping people with disabilities in mind. Autistic activist Lydia X. Z. Brown describes ableism as the “oppression, prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination against disabled people on the basis of actual or presumed disability.” It is the belief that disabled people are inferior to their more able-bodied or able-minded counterparts.

The panel discussion will cover how we enable and uphold ableist systems and how we can dismantle such systems in our workplaces.

This event is FREE to attend and will be held digitally.  Please register below to receive the zoom link.


Chisom Udeze | DEIB Strategist & Founder of Diversify and HerSpace

Chisom is an Economist, a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategist, and a 3 times founder of impact driven companies. She has over 14 years of experience working with organizations like the European Commission, The United Nations, ExxonMobil and The Economist Group. Chisom is analytical and a data enthusiast. She is passionate about interrogating the cross-sectoral relationship between society’s inhabitants, resources, production, technology, distribution and output. She efficiently and effectively unlocks complex systems, interprets data, forecasts socio-economic trends and conducts research.

Having lived and worked in 7 countries across 3 continents, she is highly adaptable to different circumstances and people, and thrives in uncertain environments.

As the founder of Diversify and Diversify Consult, Chisom and her team work with companies, institutions, governments and civil society to develop sustainable DEIB strategies and embed measurable diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and society. In addition, in 2022, Diversify launched the Diversify Nordics Summit, the largest conference in the Nordics that gathers cross-sectoral stakeholders to amplify DEIB in the Nordics and beyond.

In 2020, she founded HerSpace, a diverse and inclusive co-creation community for all genders, with particular focus on women and non-binary people. In 2022, HerSpace launched HerTech, Women in Tech incubator, for women-led companies, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse founders. 

Chisom is a thought-leader in DEIB and a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She writes often on DEIB and justice related topics, some of her work is published on Forbes. 

Bernard Chiira | Kenya Country Representative (GDI Hub CIC) and Director of GDI Hub’s Innovate Now accelerator

Bernard Chiira is the director and co-founder of GDI Hub’s Innovate Now-Africa’s first assistive technology accelerator program. Innovate Now has impacted 100+ Startup founders across 45 disability focused technology Startup ventures from more than 10 nations.

Over the 9 years, he’s led some of the most successful incubators and accelerators in Africa including Innovate Now-Africa’s first assistive technology accelerator with Global Disability Innovation Hub, and @iBizAfrica-a leading university-based incubator in Strathmore University, in Kenya. Bernard has been at the forefront of leadership and pioneering new approaches since his university days as a Student Council leader, to his professional life. He has served in various leadership positions in Africa’s technology and innovation ecosystem. These include board secretary at Afrilabs-Africa’s largest innovation hubs network and co-founder and first chairman of the Association of Startup and SME Enablers of Kenya. He sits on boards and committees of various organizations and government agencies, such as Pangea Trust, Kenya Innovation Agency and the Kenya Disability Inter-agency and Inclusive Data Charter Committee.

Bernard is a keynote speaker, thought leader and masterclass facilitator across diverse topics within innovation, disability, assistive technology, and entrepreneurship. Bernard has been part of Pioneer roles that include: first leader with a disability to be elected in Strathmore University’s Student Council, a founding research fellow at Strathmore’s iLabAfrica, a founding faculty of Strathmore’s and Google’s digital marketing academy, the first African professional and leader with a disability to graduate from Stanford Centre for Professional Development and 500 Global’s venture capital professional course (VC Unlocked), the first aspiring venture capitalist with a disability in Africa (Founder Square Ventures in 2018 and currently AT Ventures), the first chairman of the Association for Startup and SME Enablers of Kenya, the co-founder and director of Innovate Now Africa’s first assistive technology accelerator, and a co-founder of the Inclusive Innovation Network, a word’s first global network connecting disability innovation hubs across the world. Bernard was named amongst the top 100 most influential young Kenyans in 2019 and a 50 most fabulous innovative leaders awardee by the World Innovation Congress in 2020.

In 2019, he also won the best youth employment strategy with iBizAfrica, Strathmore University, at the Diversity and Inclusion Awards in Kenya. Bernard’s current project is aimed at driving early-stage capital into the most promising technology and disability focused Startups, focused on African markets. Built around the philosophy of “Exponential Inclusion”, that he announced at the Zero Project Conference in 2023, Bernard believes it’s time for bold approaches to tackle the disability Inclusion gap and maximize on the opportunities that can be realised, to achieve disability inclusion by 2030. This will be achieved by re-imagining how development financing, impact investing, venture philanthropy and blended financing can work together with venture capital investors to unlock assistive technology markets in developing countries. It will also be achieved especially when representation of persons with disabilities is achieved at all levels, including venture capital and impact investing.

Bernard lives in Nairobi Kenya with his wife and children. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess and volunteering for causes he cares about.

Kaisa Lervik | Analytics Architect and Nordic Analytics Talent Community Lead

 Kaisa is an Analytics Architect consultant and leads the Nordic Analytics Talent Community in Avanade. She also leads DiversAbility, Avanade’s Disability Inclusion Employee Network, in Europe. She is passionate about all aspects of Inclusion and Diversity, and is a long-time Ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Through this allyship, she found her voice for advocating for disability inclusion, based on her own lived experiences. Disability Inclusion in Avanade covers both physical and mental health and neurodiversity. DiversAbility was shortlisted at the European Diversity Awards 2022 in the Outstanding Employee Network of the Year category. Kaisa herself was awarded Oda-nettverk and Abelia 50 Leading Women in Technology award in 2021. She is a visible role model for girls and women in IT, through speaking at TENK Tech Camp and leading workshops at Girl Tech Fest. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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April 26, 2023
13:00 - 15:00 CEST
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Strandgata 19
Oslo, Oslo 0152 Norway
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Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace


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Standart ticket includes:

  • 3 course meal;
  • 3 glasses of wine;
  • Coupon for 20% discount for cloth rental for this gala from Fjong;

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