All Posts

The Journey to Inclusivity: Insights from Aisha Suleiman

As we celebrate International Women's Month, Afropolitan is proud to feature the inspiring Aisha Suleiman as part of our focus on outstanding women who are making a difference in their communities and beyond. Aisha's story is a testament to the strength and resilience of women, and we are excited to share her journey with our readers. Through her work and advocacy, Aisha has broken down barriers and challenged stereotypes, inspiring countless women to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact in the world. Join us as we celebrate and honor Aisha and all the incredible women who are changing the world.

Aisha Suleiman is a multi-talented diversity and inclusion leader, entrepreneur, and film director. She is widely recognized for her work in promoting diversity and inclusion in organizations and has been featured in several lists such as the Investing in Ethnicity Top 8 Future Leaders (2018) and the Empower 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders (2020). Her company, The Inclusive Culture, helps organizations achieve their diversity, inclusion, and business goals by providing expert guidance and support.

Aisha has worked with several global brands such as Amazon and IPG Mediabrands, leveraging her experience, passion, and drive for progress to help these companies meet their diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments. Her work has had a significant impact in driving positive change in corporate cultures and creating inclusive work environments.

Introducing True White Allies: The Forgotten History of White Anti-Racists

In 2022, Aisha launched a ground-breaking film project called True White Allies. The film series showcases the stories of historical White anti-racists from as early as the 1700s to inspire increased allyship and action. Aisha realized that many well-meaning White colleagues were asking Black employees what they could do to help fight racism following George Floyd's murder and the wave of Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. She thought about the sacrifices of the ancestors and considered the fact that White people have also fought against oppression, like slavery and colonialism, in the past. The True White Allies film series was her way of sharing the stories of these forgotten heroes and inspiring more White people to take action against racism.

Aisha's journey to the Inclusive Culture began when she started the Black Employee Network, an employee resource group at Amazon UK. Employee resource groups (ERGs) are community-led networks that provide a safe space for employees with shared characteristics and hold the company accountable for creating an inclusive culture. Aisha spent a lot of time on Google researching and reaching out to people on LinkedIn who had started ERGs to understand how they did it. Running the group opened her eyes to the power of ERGs, but it also showed her how much companies were not tapping into this power. She started The Inclusive Culture to help people like her who were starting ERGs know what to do to make them successful.

Aisha has learned a lot from her mistakes and sees them as learning opportunities. For example, earlier in her career, she once flew a candidate meant to have an interview in Sweden to the UK. They arrived at the office in London, and she realized they were supposed to be in Sweden. This experience improved her attention to detail and ingrained in her the importance of seeking clarity if she was not sure.

"Ask for help. Ask for the promotion. If you don't ask, you won't get it" - Aisha Suleiman

When asked what advice she would give a young person starting their career, Aisha emphasized the importance of not being too invested in being a "respectable" black person. For here, much of what we are told is "respectable" or "professional" is also anti-black. Aisha says, "Ask for help. Ask for the promotion. If you don't ask, you won't get it. If you ask and they say no, then ask somebody else. Anytime you're afraid to speak up, remember the sacrifices of our ancestors. Think about what they had to give up so we could be free. That will bring you courage."

Aisha's commitment to social justice and equity extends beyond her professional accomplishments. She is a board member of the Rugby Football League's Inclusion Board and uses her expertise to support the delivery of its Inclusion, Equality, and Anti-Discrimination plan. Additionally, Aisha is passionate about mental health and well-being and encourages everyone to prioritize their mental well-being to be the best version of themselves and avoid harming others due to a lack of self-love or awareness. Aisha encourages others to try therapy and commit to at least a year, just as they would hire a personal trainer to work on their body.

Aisha Suleiman is a true inspiration and a trailblazer in the diversity and inclusion space. Her commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive world through her work, her passion for mental health and well-being, and her dedication to supporting the fight against racism and oppression make her an invaluable asset to the Afropolitan community. Aisha's work has already made a significant impact, and her continued contributions are sure to lead to even greater progress in the fight for equity and social justice.

More Articles

Subscribe to

The Frontier

Learn the strategies behind tech and crypto within the African diaspora. We demystify the pathways to limitless value creation within these emerging technologies and the communities around them.

Thank you! Stay tuned for updates!
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.