“The most important thing for anyone wanting to make a change is to get involved. Whether you are able to volunteer a little bit of your time or a lot, it is always important.”
Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia
Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta
Affiliations: Edmonton Somali Professionals
Tell us about yourself!
I am currently a senior policy advisor with the Government of Alberta. Prior to my current role, I worked in both the public and private sectors and spent time working in my hometown with an organization helping refugee children adapt to Canadian society. This work was important to me, as I grew up in an immigrant family and knew the challenges immigrant children face with the education system in Canada. This experience ignited my passion for community development, especially working with new Canadians, youth, and women. Along with many friends in Edmonton, I helped create the Edmonton Somali Professionals (ESP) group. Through this volunteer group, we work on various community-based projects, including running a mentorship program for university and college students, hosting an annual career night, and running fundraisers for local charitable causes.
How does your work promote gender equality in Canada and around the world?
Within the Somali-Canadian community, females play a very strong and prominent role. However, when it comes to formal leadership positions, they are underrepresented and often overlooked. As a member of ESP, I encourage female membership and a gender balance, at a minimum, within our organization’s leadership and committees. I also recognize the importance of having more female leaders participate in Canadian politics and am committed to make this happen. I am currently on the campaign team helping a female member of ESP coordinate volunteers and register party members to vote for her to represent them in her Edmonton riding in the next federal election.
What change would you like to see in the world by 2030?
I would like to see a reduction in gender-based violence and poverty. All too often, race and gender negatively affect one’s economic well-being. I believe that if we have more females in leadership positions, including in government and in the non-profit and private sectors, we will see greater change in our society on these issues. While I believe we as Canadians have made humble progress, I know that there will always be more work to be done nationally and globally.