Dyvergent Change Makers

Episode 14: Interview with Norhan Ahmed, Founder of Womxnetwork

June 11, 2021 Kerry D. Rosado Season 2 Episode 14
Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 14: Interview with Norhan Ahmed, Founder of Womxnetwork
Chapters
Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 14: Interview with Norhan Ahmed, Founder of Womxnetwork
Jun 11, 2021 Season 2 Episode 14
Kerry D. Rosado

In episode 14, I interview Norhan Ahmed, a writer, poet, speaker, and community builder.  She is also the Founder of Womxnetwork.  Join us as we discuss how to provide equal access and opportunities to women at all stages of their careers.

About Guest
Norhan Ahmed is a writer, poet, speaker, and community builder. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in International Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has worked in the tech industry as an HR professional for five years. Her life's mission led her to start Womxnetwork, an inclusive and powerful community of womxn, providing equal access to opportunities, sharing knowledge, and amplifying voices. She is on the board of two organizations BAM Collective and the In this Together campaign . She led BAM’s first virtual event in NYC. She joined the In this Together campaign because she believes that youth are the voice of this generation surrounding the gaps in mental health resources.

She is a mental health advocate and believes we should continue the conversations around mental health in order to drive real change. Follow her on instagram @ norhan writes, womxnetwork and on her LinkedIn page @ womxnetwork.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com 

Kerry is the Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Named among the 146 Inspiring Women Leaders in 2021 by Diverse IN. She is an elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience in tech, healthcare, and education. She is a proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  She is a Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

She is a former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. She led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, and led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, and a DEI in the Workplace Certification.

Learn more at www.dyvergentcg.com or schedule a call at calendly.com/dyvergentcg.

Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Podcast Guests  - Schedule recording at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

Gifts for Listeners:
Get a free $15 gift card from Amphy at https://www.amphy.com/gift/dyvergent.  Amphy is the largest marketplace for live classes, connecting and enriching humanity through knowledge.

Show Notes Transcript

In episode 14, I interview Norhan Ahmed, a writer, poet, speaker, and community builder.  She is also the Founder of Womxnetwork.  Join us as we discuss how to provide equal access and opportunities to women at all stages of their careers.

About Guest
Norhan Ahmed is a writer, poet, speaker, and community builder. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in International Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has worked in the tech industry as an HR professional for five years. Her life's mission led her to start Womxnetwork, an inclusive and powerful community of womxn, providing equal access to opportunities, sharing knowledge, and amplifying voices. She is on the board of two organizations BAM Collective and the In this Together campaign . She led BAM’s first virtual event in NYC. She joined the In this Together campaign because she believes that youth are the voice of this generation surrounding the gaps in mental health resources.

She is a mental health advocate and believes we should continue the conversations around mental health in order to drive real change. Follow her on instagram @ norhan writes, womxnetwork and on her LinkedIn page @ womxnetwork.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com 

Kerry is the Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Named among the 146 Inspiring Women Leaders in 2021 by Diverse IN. She is an elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience in tech, healthcare, and education. She is a proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  She is a Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

She is a former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. She led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, and led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, and a DEI in the Workplace Certification.

Learn more at www.dyvergentcg.com or schedule a call at calendly.com/dyvergentcg.

Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Podcast Guests  - Schedule recording at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

Gifts for Listeners:
Get a free $15 gift card from Amphy at https://www.amphy.com/gift/dyvergent.  Amphy is the largest marketplace for live classes, connecting and enriching humanity through knowledge.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Hello everyone, my name is Kerry D Rosado. I am the host of Dyvergent Changemakers podcast, which is available on Apple, podcasts, Spotify, Google and Amazon as well. I'm also the founder and principal D&I Consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group. Today I wanted to share something special for our listeners a free gift card for $15 from Amphy. Amphy is the largest marketplace for live classes connecting and enriching humanity through knowledge. So thank you for the gift card app be so be sure to check out the link you will find it within the description of this podcast. In addition, I encourage you to check out a our Facebook group for the podcast. It's a great place where you can provide feedback. Definitely subscribe to our YouTube channel as well. If you're more of a visual learner. There you will find all the recordings of the podcast in addition to the recordings of our summit, which we had earlier this year. And if you're interested in being a podcast guest yourself, definitely check out the link within the notes of this week's podcast. Thank you for listening. You appreciate the support. Enjoy the intro music and this week's episode. Hello everyone. My name is Kerry D Rosado. I'm the host of the podcast the divergent changemakers which is available on Spotify, Amazon, Apple podcasts. I'm also the founder and D&I consultant for Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Today, our guest is Norhan Ahmed. She'll be sharing her expertise with us. Norhan can you go ahead and introduce yourself share a little bit more about your background and how you got involved in your line of work.

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

Hi, my name is Norhan Ahmed and I grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in New York. And I was born to Egyptian parents but I grew up in the United States. I'm a third culture kid, meaning that I share both the Arab and the American culture. I'm a poet, writer, community builder speaker and I'm also a mental health advocate. I worked in HR in the tech industry for five years. I am also starting my own woman's organization called the woman x network. Woman x network is an inclusive and powerful space for women x by providing equal access to opportunities, sharing knowledge and amplifying their voices. And I joined this industry so I joined people operations right out of college. I've always enjoyed working with people building systems and making processes more efficient. And as for starting women x network, which we'll be launching in September 2021. I started this organization because there's a need for a woman's organization in the market encompassing woman's professionals at different stages in their careers and disciplines. The focus in this organization covers five categories of women in different levels in their professional career.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

And what ultimately motivated you to get into this industry or line of work.

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

Diversity, Equity inclusion is very important, it's always going to be important and everyone should have their own every single group should have its own access to opportunities. And so woman x network is solving that because I started this organization because I felt that there was a need for a woman's organization in the market and compass all these different five categories. And these are the five categories it's excellence professionals WP and those are the women who are mid level to senior in their career in any field x creative which are those in the creative field. So like you are you UX designers and graphic designers, as to which is small business owners, entrepreneur, which is women who have launched or want to launch startups and x y WP, which is young woman's professional, and those who graduated college and are fairly new in the career, I just felt it's very important to have powerful, inclusive and diverse communities because network is not as net worth and community's power. And I feel like having that support network makes a difference in someone's career. I remember feeling lost as I graduated college. I was like I don't know how to network. I don't know what I'm doing and I felt like I didn't have that support system. And so this, this organization is that support system. And it's it is it is an inclusive and diverse support system, and network.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for highlighting that. It's very true that when someone graduates from college, you do feel a little bit lost, as far as you know how to network and build your network, it's oftentimes it's not something that's taught to you in college, I wish it was. But unfortunately, it's something you have to navigate and learn as you grow in your career. So thank you for putting that out there and providing that support, especially for women. I think that's definitely something we all need at different stages, within our careers, for sure. Can you share with us? What are have been the best resources to have helped you along the way in your line of work?

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

Definitely reading more books to nourish my mind and networking has helped me. And every time I talk about woman x network with different leaders, such as yourself, Carrie, it only serves to validate that there's a strong need for it. Of course, there are other women's organizations that are focused on diversity and providing lunch when he was there's still a need for the support network I'm launching. So the best resource is people the best resource is to network, the best resource is to sometimes you have an idea and a passion project. And you you need to somehow use to validate it by talking to other people by figuring out like, what are the what are their pain points, like, it could just be a casual conversation, and you're telling them about your idea. And you're like, yeah, we really need that. And that kind of validates your idea. So the best resources to network, talk to people get out of your shell step out of your comfort zone, you need to put yourself out there otherwise, you can't achieve the results that you want.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

I appreciate you, you mentioned that coming out of your shell, definitely in diversity and inclusion, you have to be, you know, patient, to move mountains and make impact and change and definitely come out of your shell and, you know, work with challenging folks who may be resistant to change. So definitely, I appreciate that. So thank you for all the work that you're currently doing. What have been the lessons that you wish you had learned before starting in this industry? Looking back, what would you say?

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

I think with anything, it's I just wish I had started sooner, I feel that I just wish I knew how to network with others more effectively, then maybe I would have connected with the right mentors sooner who would have helped me on this journey. Knowing how to network well is a life skill. And every professional should know like how to network. And I just, that's why I'm starting on the next level, because I just want to make sure that everyone everyone is any a woman x or woman that's part of this organization knows how to network, because that's how you get far in life. It's not just your experience. It's how you talk to people, how to talk to people, how to make the right connections, and how to make sure that you're providing just as much value as you as you need from that person, whatever, whatever the relationship is. So I just wish I had started sooner. And I wish I had stepped out of my comfort zone sooner and not like defeated myself before I started.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing that. I think a lot of people can resonate with that. And most of us who have gone into entrepreneurship, I wish we had done it sooner. But everybody reaches that threshold where you're finally like, Okay, ready to take that leap? And I'm glad you're doing it at such a young age. That's great. Thank you for sharing that. So, in your career, what have been the biggest challenges you faced? And what did you learn from them? Or how did you overcome them?

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

imposter syndrome has been my biggest challenge. Sometimes we have passions, dreams and goals we want to fulfill but we feel that we are not qualified to do something. I don't believe that anyone I know that I am qualified and I am able to do whatever I set my mind to. If I didn't think I was capable, I wouldn't have those dreams. So really, it's the self limiting beliefs. And like sometimes you can find yourself like looking at how others have succeeded and think like their overnight success, there's no such thing as an overnight success. They have also had to do the inner work, they have also had to done the work. And they've also struggled and had their own adverse events to get to where they are. So don't your chapter one, you can't compare your chapter one to someone's chapter 50. So just really like you have to always look at where you are and how what like you can't do something. You can't do something differently with the same mindset that defeated you before you started. So change your mindset change your beliefs, know that you are capable as long as you put in the work and you know that you will struggle but the payoff will be bit greater and bigger.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Yes, thank you for highlighting imposter syndrome and mindset. I think anyone at any point in their career you could either be starting off in your new career or be a very seasoned professional And transitioning into something else. Everyone at some point does face that. And yes, it really does come down to that mindset. And having that growth mindset, not a fixed one, because you want to continue to grow and improve. So definitely. Thank you for highlighting that as well. And is there any type of advice you would give to someone who wishes to pursue a similar career to yours? What would that be?

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

My entrepreneurship in general, is on the rise. I just want anyone that was listening to me now to know I don't always know what I'm doing. I don't always have all the information. I don't always have all the support. But But build your build your network is number one, collaborate with others know how to network because it's, again, it's very, very important. Do your research and do your research because you have to do your thing on the market, you have to do your research on like, how can you lead your teams leading a team is a very important life skill. Leadership is a very important life skill. Also, like the more knowledge you can acquire, even like anything, anything simple as like, business psychology, you know, which is something I'm into now. Like, really knowing how people work and knowing your Why Why are you doing this? Why why why do you want to start this network? What Why do you want to start this organization? Why do you want to start this podcast? What is your Why? What is your end goal? What what is going to what is driving you? What is your ambition? What's your passion? So knowing all that is going to keep you going when you get those noes, and you get those rejections and you feel like you can't do something or that bad day hits you. So really just believing in yourself doing your research and collaborating with others is 100%. That.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. I know it's important. In order to stay motivated, you kind of have to be your own cheerleader, and kind of like, know how to keep yourself and keep that momentum going. And just pushing through any challenges you face? And thank you for that. Is there a myth you'd like to debunk? As far as within your career space, you'd like to share? a myth that I would like to debunk? Yeah, so something that people believe that isn't necessarily true, you want to correct them,

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

you know what I realized recently, like just really putting myself out there and connecting with others. And you don't need to have experienced the thought many things you just need, you just need to create opportunities for yourself to gain that credibility. And then you start to build your personal brand or your actual brand, the smartest person in the room is not the one with the most experience, but the one who makes the most out of their experience. So learning from others and allow allowing them to mentor you directly or indirectly. So like indirectly would be like you see a post on LinkedIn. Now like, Oh, this person like seems really, really cool. And I would love to follow them on LinkedIn or connect with them. So I could see stay up to date with their content. Or maybe it's heading into a clubhouse room and meeting someone that you didn't think could provide any assistance to yours, not the same field as you. So really just knowing that experience is really just someone giving you the opportunity to do the work that they that you didn't have experience for from the beginning. They give you that opportunity, you get that experience, but you have to build your credibility beforehand. You have to be that passionate, ambitious person beforehand. Otherwise, they won't give you the opportunity, you'll be passed up for that opportunity.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you. I do agree that definitely passion is important. It definitely shows your commitment and conviction to the work that you're doing. And it will help you stand out from others. So definitely it will open doors for you. So thank you for that. Has there been anything that you have recently read or listened to that has really inspired you or motivated you that you'd like to share?

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

I'm currently reading jump by Steve Harvey. And I find the book very inspiring. He talks about taking a leap of faith jumping into the life you want. He also talks about his own struggles in life and how he didn't let small obstacles get in the way. So like one story he shared was like he flunked out of like, college and he felt so bad about it because all his buddies were in US friends were in college, and they were so like in college, and he had flunked out of it. I just feel like sometimes when things happen, like, it's like God trying to show you, that's not your purpose. Maybe college isn't for you. And now he's this huge talk show host and it's just it's not saying that college is for college is the end all be all. It's just that sometimes things happen. And there's adverse events because God's trying to redirect you somewhere else. This isn't where you're supposed to be. So it's just it's it's crazy. It's like sometimes I feel that one thing has happened to me. It's like, okay, maybe this is not where I'm supposed to go. Maybe I have to try something different, which is why it's not working out for me. So really be flexible with life. Don't think that this one path is going to be your only path. You could take several paths Life is a journey.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for that. I do agree. Definitely that Seeing rejection as a positive because it's really either refinement or redirection. So definitely, and I appreciate you highlighting that because sometimes that can get us down. And but just seeing as a positive for sure. So thank you for highlighting that. I'll definitely take a look at the book jump. Okay, and heard about that one yet. which have been the most influential individuals in your life, can you name maybe up to three? Can you share with us,

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

I definitely have more than three. So I'm going to say four. I'm definitely lean on doza, which who could whom connected us and whom I met earlier, earlier this year? Well, this year, just recently, Melinda Kohler, CEO of lessons up has helped me a lot on my journey. And my friends, abrar and Henan, whom I got to be part of their organizations, and I've given me the space to come out of my shell and shine. And of course, like my close friend, Nick, who always takes that call when I really need to talk to someone, and I really need that encouragement, and I'm feeling down on myself. So definitely, all those people have been amazing to me. And it's just amazing, like, your circle is very important for your growth. Nobody realizes that. Even if you eat, it's not the number of people you have in your life, it's the quality. So really, these people, these amazing women, and my amazing friend, Nick Bruno has just been amazing in my life.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Yes, I do agree. When you're entering into entrepreneurship, or actually any career that you set out to, it is important to have that support system in place, kind of like your personal Board of Directors, people you can tap into for different resources that you may need. So I'm glad you've built that for yourself. And it's very important. Are there any last words you'd like to share with the audience also, how they can stay in touch with you and learn more about the organization that you're building?

Guest - Norhan Ahmed:

For something I would like my audience to take from this episode. And this podcast episode is don't self reject and defeat yourself, just because something will take time to build. And it might be hard doesn't mean you won't get there. Start today and build slowly, and the payoff will always be great. Also, success is more just more than just a certain number that you hit in sales or followers in your business. It can seem that way. But the real success is when you put your head on that pillow at night, and smile knowing you made someone's life easier, better, or you made them stronger through your product or service. In the meantime, please follow me on Instagram, the organization at woman x network. So that's w o MX network, and like our LinkedIn page at woman x network and join our Facebook group as well. We will be launching our website in September 2021. And really connect with me on LinkedIn, nor Hannah met. And I'm open to connection. I'm open to collaboration, and I'm just you know, happy that I got to be here today. Thank you, Carrie.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Well, thank you for being a guest. With us today. Nor hand It was definitely a pleasure learning more about you your journey, and your organization, how you're looking to support women throughout their entire careers. That's definitely something amazing. And I definitely look forward to checking out your website when it comes out. As a reminder to our audiences, be sure to subscribe to our podcast, which is available on Amazon, Spotify, and Google as well. also encourage you to if you're more of a visual learner, definitely check out our YouTube channel where you'll find our recordings for other podcasts and also our most recent summit. So thank you so much for joining us today. And that's it. Thanks