Dr. jur Asmaa el Idrissi (she/her)

For me, diversity is an attitude beyond the factual meaning: the attitude of accepting people as they are, valuing them in the best case, and granting them equal opportunities and participation in resources.
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Asmaa, I lead the FATMA project at SWANS as part of the federal program “Live Democracy!” and I am an expert advisor at Wirf├╝rVielfalt. Prior to that, I was an anti-discrimination and diversity officer for the city of Bochum and was the lead coordinator for the Hessen wide anti-discrimination network ADIBE during the attacks in Hanau, Halle and the murder of Georg Floyd. By background, I hold a doctorate in constitutional law.

If you could change one thing in Germany right now, what would it be?

The creation of a competence-oriented labor market.

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity is first and foremost a social and personal reality. There are almost 83 million people living in Germany and just as many different realities, styles and designs of life. For me, diversity is not just a factual meaning, but also an attitude: the attitude of accepting people as they are, valuing them in the best case, and granting them equal opportunities and a share of resources.

How do you advocate for more diversity in your everyday life?

With my appearance alone – Muslim, Woman of Color, female – I set an example for more diversity at the project management level, as a keynote speaker or DEIB consultant through representation. I have been more and more aware of my role model function for several years now. Marginalized people need role models. My generation had to create them as a child of guest workers – at least in the working world.

At the SWANS initiative I have the great opportunity to serve the target group of multi-discriminated women – to which I also belong. Our “swans” receive support for their careers with very targeted offers such as seminars lasting several days, coaching, application checks, but also through cooperation with well-known companies. At the same time, they gain access to valuable networks of already successful BiWoC.

In my private life, the commitment to diversity already consists of leaving the house with my hijab. ­čśŐ On the side, I am regularly involved in various projects. With Asmahan Gamgami, for example, I launched the EYDO.EMPOWERMENT initiative. We organize empowerment events by BiPoC for BiPoC.

What do you think each individual can do today to work for more diversity?

Conscious reflection on one’s own privileges and how these can be used for the marginalized part of society. Acquiring knowledge about the origins and effects of racism and other forms of discrimination from those affected themselves.

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