February is Black History Month and Acuative is always seeking to elevate diverse voices in our organization. We are thrilled to have engaged in an enriching interview with Ahmed Smith-Ford to give his perspective on his experience with Black History Month and diversity.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a time of recognition for overcoming a wrong that should have never been committed. It shows how people have been able to rise above that situation and reminds us that we will continue to grow and rise against the odds.
It’s a shame that it’s the shortest month of the year because black history deserves to be honored.
How has diversity impacted you?
In my career, I have been told on a number of occasions I was the first black person to be employed there. At a large well known technology company, I was the first Global Account Manager of my race at the company.
Yes, I’ve faced discrimination, but my philosophy is: There will always be barriers of bias racial, age, religion. I have made the decision to not let it interfere with my destination in regards to achieving my goals.
Who is your role model in life?
Shirley Chisholm, my 2nd cousin, was the first black woman to be elected to Congress and the first woman of color to run for the Presidency of the United States. She was unbiased. Un-bossed and Incorruptible.
She sat me down on many occasions and told me of her experiences with racism & how to manage and overcome it. Without her, there is no Barack Obama, Corey Booker or Kamala Harris. They wouldn’t be able to exist without Shirley Chisholm paving the way for them.
What advice would you give in regards to diversity?
I advocate for diversity on the grounds of ability, not on charity. If we have ten people at the same level, let’s have diversity in opinion because ten diverse minds can relate to more customers than ten like minds.
The reason why diversity is important is because it brings understanding to our globalized world.
At Acuative, we take immense pride in our unwavering commitment to fostering a workplace that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion. We believe that a diverse team sparks innovation and drives success. Our dedication to creating an inclusive environment goes beyond words; it is ingrained in our core values. To learn more about how we champion diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the principles that guide us, explore our company values here.