We love to see women leading industries in all brilliance and beauty. Maisha is one that does this effortlessly. She consistently serves as a powerhouse, fueling the dreams of young creatives by empowering them mentally and connecting them to various tools and plaftorms where they are empowered financially. You won’t be wrong to call Maisha a leading woman, who works behind the scene to help dreams turn reality.
Here’s our Exclusive Interview with Maisha as she beautifully shares her truth on her journey as a powerhouse in the creative industry and beyond.
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
We see the great work you’re doing at The Diversity Org, connecting students to multi billion dollar companies providing them with networking and job opportunities. Please share some highlights of this journey so far.
● In 2021-22 I was able to expand our partnerships with low-income schools
nationally in over 20 states in the U.S. This allowed us to make systematic
change in some of the most under-resourced communities in the country and
provide the right resources to the next generation of leaders.
● I get to work with a team of extremely talented and intelligent young people
everyday who are putting in a lot of diligent work behind the scenes to make
at-risk communities better. That makes my work not only fulfilling but also fun.
● Assemblies: impacting other young women.
What would you consider your most fulfilling moment, as the vice president of The Diversity Org?
The Diversity Org hosts assemblies at schools nationally. The assemblies are
very highly-engaging, almost concert-like events that we have at schools with
hundreds of students. When I first joined the organization, I joined as a
speaker for the assembly. I still remember after my first assembly in a school
in New Jersey, so many young brown girls came up to me and told me how
much it motivated them to see someone who looks like them on stage and
how rarely they see that. I remember another time after we did an assembly
in an under-resourced school in New York, when I was leaving the auditorium,
I saw the security guard in the school sniffing. I approached him to ask what
happened, to which he said that some of the young men sitting at the back
seats of the auditorium were homeless; that it takes a lot for them to wake
up and arrive at school; that for the first time, he heard two of these young
men say they wanted to go to college because they heard something at the
assembly that really lit something up in them. There are so many more
stories like this that we hear and experience everyday from the incredible
youth that we have the privilege of serving. There’s a lot of high-level work
that we do at the organization. However, for me, those days where I get to be
on the ground directly connecting with the students, are my most fulfilling
moments. It’s the reason I wake up everyday and choose to do what I do.
The unlimited power of partnership is no doubt the pillar of thriving businesses
globally and this is something you have been able to achieve at Diversity org in no small ways. Can you share some tips on how partnerships can be used by individual creatives and any tips on how best they can access these partnerships.
All successful partnerships —professional or personal — at the end of the day, are about strong and genuine relationships. I think it’s important for us to view partnerships as less of an exchange and more about the people behind it. It’s important to take note of how we make people feel when they connect with us. As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That always stays with me.
The great thing about the time we’re in right now is the level of accessibility we
have within our fingertips. It’s easier than ever before to connect with people. I think LinkedIn and Instagram are both incredible tools that can allow us to
connect with the right people. It’s so easy to find people in your desired title,
company, industry. Reach out to people. Leave a message. Flatter them. Ask
them questions. People love to talk about themselves. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help out a stranger.
How was growing up like?
I grew up in Bangladesh, which is a small country in Asia. I was brought up in a
society that is very conservative so there were a lot of restrictions growing up,
both at home and at school for women. Even though I was grateful to have a
family that was very supportive, there still were a lot of limitations that I
experienced. I was always very ambitious but I felt like there were a lot of barriers for me to be successful and independent. Hence, quite early on, I
decided I wanted to come to the U.S. But my parents made it very clear that the only way I could come here was through education. So I applied to as many U.S. universities as possible and moved across the world to New York to begin at NYU at the age of 18, with no friends or family. I moved from the smallest to the biggest city. It was a total culture shock. But I’ve felt very much at home ever since because it truly allowed me to thrive exponentially and be independent.
Today, I get to make an income while making an impact and I am very grateful for it.
Who are your ‘ICONS’ in the music world?
I love Drake, Kanye, The Weeknd, Tyler, The Creator, BROCKHAMPTON, Cigarettes After Sex, Lana Del Rey.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is when I have benefited and impacted people beyond myself. It means creating opportunities for others who have access to less and paving a pathway for them to be successful.
Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that palette, what would that be and why?
My color would be blue. According to color theory, blue represents faith and
calmness. That is why a lot of the popular social media platforms have blue as
their official color. My role at The Diversity Org requires me to be a leader in my field. I take that responsibility very seriously. As a leader, it’s very important for me to have the people who work with me to have faith in my vision and leadership. Hence, the color blue.
Massive Love Maisha Kabir!
The ICONIC Team.