We caught up with our ex Graduate, Suad Mohamed, to hear about her journey from Grad to professional here at BT

Tell us who you are and what you do.

I joined the Commercial Management Graduate scheme in 2018 and I have recently mapped off into a Product Manager role in Enterprise. 

What made you apply for a Grad scheme at BT?

I applied for the Graduate scheme as I really wanted to work for a global tech company based in London. What attracted me to BT’s graduate program in particular is that it allows you to rotate and work in a variety of roles across the business. When applying for the Graduate program, one of the first people I met was a Julia Mansi, a Black lawyer working in Consumer who also co-chaired BT’s Ethnic Diversity Network at the time. Having that representation was very important and when I finally received my offer, I didn’t hesitate to accept. 

What does it mean to you to be a Black Muslim woman personally and professionally?

Being a Black Muslim woman can be extremely challenging as you can get targeted from three different angles, your race, your religion and your gender. These are all groups in society that are marginalised whether it’s racism, Islamophobia or Sexism.  

Personally, I have never let people’s ignorance define me. If anything, I’ve used it as a motivator to continue working hard and making sure that people like myself are heard and represented.

When it comes to my professional life, I always make sure that a company is right for me before accepting the job offer. One key factor I do look for is diversity as I never want to be a token or a box that someone can tick to meet their diversity requirements just for the sake of it.

Moving to London and working at BT has been great as I feel represented. Being a Black Muslim woman has never held me back here. Throughout my time on the Grad scheme I was given the opportunity to work in various teams across Enterprise. The people I have met and worked with on my journey come from all over and are a great network to reach out to. I have learnt a lot and I am thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way. I look forward to continuing my BT journey and seeing where it takes me.

Why is it important for companies to make sure they create diverse and inclusive environments?

I feel that it’s extremely important for companies to be diverse and inclusive as our customer base comes from all over the world. If we expect to succeed in global economy, we need to know the people we are serving. Businesses want to work with people that understand them and their needs. Having a diverse team allows you to do that as you can utilise different skillsets to generate ideas and deliver those solutions. Without our customers we wouldn’t have a business, it’s that simple.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month means a lot to me. It is an annual celebration of achievements and also a great time to reflect back on what my people before me fought for. The opportunities I have today wouldn’t have been possible without others paving the way for me and for that I am forever grateful. I am extremely proud to see how far we’ve come however there is still a long way to go when it comes to fighting injustice and fighting for equality. A lot has happened throughout history and more recently during the pandemic regarding the George Floyd case. Racism and inequality is not just an American issue so I hope that people can use this month to educate themselves.

If anyone wants to access resources or attend events, joining the BT Ethnic Diversity Network is a great place to start and they have an active page on Workplace. 

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