Building an Equitable and Inclusive Future of Work: Insights from Misty Gaither

Anouk van Barneveldt

Anouk van Barneveldt

Content Marketer

In today’s dynamic world, the future of work is about crafting an environment where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed, rather than just about technological advancements or market trends. This was the core message from Misty Gaither, Vice President and Global Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Indeed, during her impactful keynote at the Breaking Bias Summit. Misty’s insights clearly underscored the need for a collective effort to combat biases, revamp hiring practices, and foster an inclusive workplace culture.

This blog explores the current barriers to achieving an equitable and inclusive future of work, and provides practical insights provided by Misty Gaither’ that you can implement immediately within your organisation.

Barriers to equity and inclusivity in hiring

Currently, several barriers exist that hinder the creation of an equitable and inclusive future of work. The five main barriers to equity and inclusivity in hiring are: 

Outdated hiring practices

Traditional methods focus on requirements such as university degrees and work history, which do not necessarily correlate with a candidate’s ability to perform. You also risk excluding capable candidates who may not have formal qualifications but possess the necessary skills and competencies.

Structural biases in systems and processes

Structural forms of biases, such as those related to gender, race, and socioeconomic status among others, exist within hiring practices and policies. This makes it difficult for many individuals to find work, thus hindering equitable hiring. 

Overreliance on CVs

CVs have been used as the primary screening tool for decades, leading to quick judgments and assumptions based on a few keywords. Recruiters often spend less than 30-45 seconds on a CV. This results in many qualified candidates being screened out.

Accessibility issues 

Both apparent and non-apparent disabilities can limit job opportunities, as there is often a lack of adequate accommodations for these individuals.

These barriers result in inequitable opportunities for candidates in the job market and cause you to miss out on diverse and capable talent. This underscores the urgent need for a shift towards a more equitable and inclusive future of work.

Reading tip: DEI’s Direct Impact on Organisation PerformanceThe business case for fostering an equitable and inclusive culture for diverse talent. 

How to build a more equitable and inclusive Future of Work?

Now that we know what the problems are in achieving a more equitable and inclusive future of work, let’s discuss how you can start building this for your organisation.

Shifting to Skills-Based Hiring

A major opportunity on the road toward an equitable and inclusive workforce is the shift to skills-based hiring

Skills first hiring is the future. It means sourcing talent, evaluating talent, and hiring candidates based on whether or not they have the skills needed to do the job.

Misty Gaither – Vice President of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging at

Misty Gaither at Breaking Bias Summit 2024

Traditional hiring methods, heavily reliant on CVs and degrees, often perpetuate biases and overlook potential talent. It becomes ever more important to evaluate candidates based on their (transferable) skills and competencies, rather than just their educational background or work experience. Skills or competencies are more predictive of job performance than education or work experience. By adopting a skills-based approach, you can expand your talent pools, enhance diversity, and make more informed hiring decisions.

Reimagining Talent Attraction

Transforming hiring practices is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s essential to rethink talent attraction strategies to reach underrepresented talent pools. This means actively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities, minorities, neurodiverse candidates, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. By crafting inclusive job postings and building connections with diverse communities, you can attract a wider group of candidates and embed diversity into the recruitment process from the start.

Implementing Inclusive Interviewing

Inclusive interviewing is another crucial element in promoting equity in hiring. 

Misty Gaither at Breaking Bias Summit 2024

We created the Inclusive Interview Rule at Indeed to mitigate bias. Having that representation across your organization during the recruitment process matters

By ensuring diverse interview panels and using structured interview techniques, you can reduce bias and improve representation throughout your whole company. Creating a supportive interview environment that prioritises respect, transparency, and inclusivity is equally important. Consider factors like time zone differences and being considerate of parents, caregivers, or neurodiverse candidates.

Fostering Internal Growth and Retention

Creating an equitable and inclusive future of work extends beyond just hiring; it’s about nurturing and retaining talent.

Take every opportunity that you can to grow your talent.

Misty Gaither at Breaking Bias Summit 2024

Internal apprenticeship programs and continuous skill development initiatives are valuable for cultivating talent from within. By providing opportunities for internal mobility, you can empower employees to explore new roles, develop new skills, and advance their careers. Moreover, fostering a culture of belonging where every employee feels valued and respected is vital for long-term retention and organizational success.


Building an equitable and inclusive future of work requires embracing skills-based hiring, reimagining talent attraction, implementing inclusive interviewing practices, and prioritizing internal development. By adopting these strategies, you can create a workplace where diversity thrives and every individual has the opportunity to succeed. As we navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, let’s take these insights to heart and work together to build a future where everyone belongs.

Interesting in learning more about actionable strategies and best practices of implementing DE&I throughout the employee lifecycle besides recruitment? Listen to our podcast episode with Adina Avram, Head of DEIB & Talent Development at Trivium Packaging

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