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Young, wild and unemployed with DIVERSE Founder, Tobi Ogundipe

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Diversity and inclusion is in the top five things that Gen Z’s are mentioning in their employer wish list.


Tobi Ogundipe is the founder of DIVERSE, a careers platform supporting underrepresented young professionals whose mission is to democratise access to the best early career’s advice through engaging format, before connecting job candidates to inclusive employers.

The episode explores how to create an inclusive workforce, how to attract and retain young, underrepresented talent, and advice on diversity within property. Hosted by deverellsmith’s ambassador of Diversity and Inclusion, Kevin Boakye.

Ogundipe is unquestionably a trailblazer who has always commendably had a passion for helping young, underrepresented people build their careers, but the pandemic was the driving force to make it happen. According to the Commons Library, unemployment figures have continued to change, and it was reported in May 2021 that unemployment for young people has increased by 13,000, a 2% increase. These statistics highlight that as employers we all have a part to play in reducing long-term unemployment distress for young people.

Join the DIVERSE community and help young, underrepresented talent gain employment by clicking here.

If you’re to say to somebody, your workforce should be diverse. What does that mean to you?

It’s about having variety in terms of social categories. That can be ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, backgrounds, and disability. In its simplest form, you just want a mixture of people from different places. The last thing you want is to only hire from a certain demographic who’ve all been to the same university, who are all from a similar area, because then you’re not going to get diversity in thought and opinion and perspective, which is what you need to survive as a business. People who have a completely different perspective can add value to our business meetings.

People want to be part of diverse teams; I obviously have a cohort of candidates who are looking for roles with employers that offer these demographics, and they often want to know how diverse an organisation is. If you’re not diverse, or you’re not welcoming diversity, in its simplest form, you’re going to miss out on top top talent, right?

There’s also, report after report on statistics behind effective teams. McKinsey PwC highlight that the more diverse teams are, the more effective results, it’s as simple as that. So, if nothing else, you’re hurting your bottom line by not putting a focus on diversity and inclusion, not least because the customers you probably try to talk to represent a diverse demographic.

But I think the appreciation of it is also quite key, just to actually appreciate that we do have these people and it’s not to just tick a box.

Diversity is having everyone in the in the nightclub. Inclusion is about inviting them to dance.


Do you think the property industry can do a lot more in terms of improving its talent attraction, when it comes to diversity? And if so, any tips you can give our listeners?

Firstly, it’s a difficult challenge for the property industry, right? Because if you think about it, at its core, it’s something that is quite segregated in itself. If you’re quite young, you probably maybe only think about property if your family has been involved in buying and selling, and therefore you’re going to be more affluent. So, you’ve already got a challenge on day one, which a lot of other industries don’t have.

But yes, I feel the industry can absolutely do much more. I think property is a wonderful space to be in because what you can do is educate.

There’s a really powerful Instagram channel done by someone in my community, called “Property in 12”. It’s incredibly good at reaching the target demographic though relatable and easy to digest content. What the channel essentially does is give tips on buying and investing and developing properties and little tips, for example – how does a buy to let mortgage work.

What the channel is essentially doing is adding value to people in an engaging way. It’s colourful, it’s bold, its eye-catching with lots of appealing graphics, colourful, and, you know, lots of graphics. It’s a really smart way to engage a target audience who historically haven’t been able to access that information easily.

If you want to attract underrepresented communities, you engage with them, give them value first, and then you ask them to apply for jobs, not the other way around.

Listen to the full interview where Kevin Boakye questions Tobi Ogundipe about more talent attraction tips for creating diverse workforce. What tips and tricks can your business harness? Available on, Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Join the DIVERSE community and help young, underrepresented talent gain employment by clicking here.