We demonstrate that two remote qubits can be entangled through an optically active intermediary even if the coupling strengths between mediator and qubits are different. This is true for a broad class of interactions. We consider two contrasting scenarios. Firstly, we extend the analysis of a previously studied gate operation which relies on pulsed, dynamical control of the optical state and which may be performed quickly. We show that remote spins can be entangled in this case even when the intermediary coupling strengths are unequal. Secondly, we propose an alternative adiabatic control procedure, and find that the system requirements become even less restrictive in this case. The scheme could be tested immediately in a range of systems including molecules, quantum dots, or defects in crystals.