Dr. Qaali Hussein, a trauma surgeon and mother of six, today announced that the inaugural Defiant Women’s Leadership Conference is scheduled for Saturday, January 21, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will take place at Antigua Garden (2645 N. 16th St.) in Phoenix, Arizona. 

While women of color are heavily recruited into the workforce, changes to workplace culture that limit their advancement and prevent retention are rarely prioritized. The conference will be an opportunity for early career women of color in the workforce to learn the skills needed to lead the necessary changes to overcome these systemic workplace inequities.

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According to Dr. Hussein, “When it comes to creating an equitable workplace for women in STEM careers, marginalized and historically excluded women miss out. Decision makers recruit these women without creating a truly inclusive workplace. When they encounter a workplace that remains exclusionary and hostile and try to speak up, retaliation ensues and the system pushes them out. Retention remains low and the cycle repeats itself to further increase recruitment without acknowledging the underlying cause.”

Dr. Hussein continued, “This is why the pace of change in DEI initiatives is so slow. We continue to define the problem of lack of diversity without acknowledging the systemic barriers that maintain the status quo. Those in leadership have little incentive to challenge a system that has benefited them thus far. Historically, it’s always been up to the people directly impacted by systems of inequity to challenge it and push for the necessary changes. If nothing is done, none of us will realize workplace equity in our lifetimes. This is why we need to go beyond recruitment as a DEI strategy. This is why we need a defiant approach.”

Dr. Hussein is recognized as a leader and powerful example of how one person can influence systems and hostile work environments to change and accommodate the needs of women of diverse backgrounds. In addressing the barriers faced by women of color in the workplace, Dr. Hussein founded Defiance Academy and is dedicated to sharing and launching actionable tools that are necessary to move beyond DEI initiatives that do not move the needle in the advancement of women of color. 

For more information and to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/defiant-womens-leadership-conference-tickets-408409191887.