For the EVOLution of Business

Conscious Action For Equity in the Workplace with Mohammed Ahamed

Episode Summary

"To enjoy the fruits of diversity, you have to face unlearning, discomfort and difficult decisions," says Mohammed Ahamed. Recent racial unrest has alerted many white people to the interpersonal, institutional and structural racism that people of color have long faced in the workplace and in broader society. While many companies have made efforts toward diversity, too often the training is inadequate and the result can be "performative diversity" without meaningful inclusion. Tune in to this episode to hear Mo's insights on taking conscious action for equity as a leader. Mohammed or (Mo) as everyone calls him, is the CEO of EDI (Engaging Diversity and Inclusion) and leads the firm's diversity practice. He most recently served as Director of Diversity & Inclusion in the President's Office at Nazareth College. Prior to Nazareth, he was Assistant Director of Admissions & Multicultural Counselor, Workplace Advisor, and Chaplain at Bucknell University where he co-authored the enrollment strategic plan for multicultural recruitment that led to the enrollment of the most diverse class in the university's history. Mo earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Nazareth College. He holds an Executive Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School and several certifications including a certificate as a Restorative Justice facilitator. Mo conducts diversity trainings and workshops for small to large audiences ranging from educational institutions, non-profit to corporate organizations. With a talent for spotting systemic and structural challenges waiting to be addressed, connect with our CEO to help your organization attract talented diverse and inclusive leaders to help drive innovation and achieve your strategic inclusive goals.

Episode Notes

[2:30] The emotional labor and taxation for people of color to "educate" on racial equity

[4:00] Mo's path of turning a passion in diversity, equity and inclusion into a career
"This work is not for me just about consciousness lifting. It's truly about connecting hearts and minds to really help people perform and become their optimal selves."

[9:00]  Safe spaces and creating ground rules to move to brave spaces

[15:00] Becoming an ally by through studying and understanding historical context
Mo's ideas for 25 actionable steps for BOLD Leadership:

[20:00] Retention requires inclusion

[24:00] Cultural humility and trying to become a white ally

[28:00] Reflection, discovery and being guided through the pain to gain perspective

[32:00] The importance of counter-narratives

[35:00] Why diversity trainings often fall short
“There’s an old saying that says diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. But I think there’s more to that. I think inclusion is being asked to help plan the party"
-Candace Lucas

[45:00] "Performative diversity" and "racial battle fatigue"

[47:00] How to prepare yourself to be BOLD

[50:00] The myth of meritocracy and why inclusive cultures are beneficial for everyone 
"What is your guiding principle in the C-Suite? How do you engage in discussions? Is everybody's voice heard and accepted the same? ... If you want to enjoy the fruits of diversity, you may have to face some unlearning and some difficult decisions."

Learn more about Mo's work: