It’s the Vibe 06 – Be the lone dancer with Vanessa Sorenson

It’s the Vibe 06 – Be the lone dancer with Vanessa Sorenson

Posted April 17, 2023

How do we build diverse company cultures? Hear from Microsoft’s Managing Director for NZ, Vanessa Sorenson on making diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures.

Shifting the dial

From living in caravan parks to leading a multinational corporation, Vanessa’s unique upbringing has driven her passion for organisational change. As she put it, ‘Inclusivity is not about the check box, it is about diversity of thought of everybody’.

Vanessa joins us to discuss how Microsoft New Zealand is walking the talk for DE&I. From installing Maori macrons into their tech to partnering with Tupa Toa to increase Maori and Pacifica representation in the corporate sector, Microsoft is going all in. So, how can your company create an inclusive culture?

“I just see us walking the talk. I’ve never seen and felt such a movement in an organisation before… And I say that it starts with inclusive design. It starts with our teams and Redmond who, for testers, they bring people in with accessibility needs. If we can design and develop products for everybody, then that to me is what inclusivity is.” – Vanessa Sorenson

Leaning in to learn

It’s time to change the way you hire and recruit. The under-representation of women and Indigenous people in the tech industry means companies are missing out on a massive catchment of talent with different ideas and thoughts. It’s time to move beyond putting everybody in the same box and hoping for a different outcome. It’s time to scrap your old business plan – it just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

“I think we have to change our lens around this stuff, but we also have to open doors.” – Vanessa Sorenson

Tune into the podcast to find out more about what you can be doing to work with indigenous communities, cultural diversities and minority groups, and how you can start moving the needle on all facets of DE&I.

Any re-purposing of these insights must clearly cite Talent. If you have any questions or comments, please email