Tell us about yourself.
My name is Muna (she/her), and I am the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Associate at Interac. I love community work and creating spaces for marginalized groups through volunteering, hosting events, and supporting community-based initiatives. I love to travel and need at least one trip to always look forward to! I also love cats and have the cutest kitten named Skai who became part of my family in 2021. He is also a Pisces, and we share the same birthday!
What does a typical day look like at Interac for you?
At Interac, my role focuses on building an inclusive culture and strengthening our relationships with community partners. On a typical day, I often spend my time planning enterprise-wide D&I events such as our Black History Month activities. This year, we have so many great activities planned for the month such as an interactive session on privilege, an in-office marketplace featuring Black owned vendors, a workshop on mental wellness and self-care, a virtual cooking class with Chef Dwight making rasta pasta and callaloo and movie tickets for employees to watch Bob Marley’s One Love documentary! Additionally, I spend time working cross-functionally with different teams such as our D&I core team, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and our Citizenship team. I am often writing acknowledgments and resources to publish on the intranet to educate employees on days of significance, inclusive language, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming events.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love how I get to embed D&I into all that we do at Interac. I appreciate that I get to work cross functionally with different leaders within the organization, for instance I was involved in the development of the Youth Council at Interac which was a cross-functional initiative involving the Product, D&I, Marketing and Communications, and Strategy and Innovation teams. The Youth Council focuses on actively engaging with diverse youth across Canada to provide insights, perspectives, and innovative ideas. I also enjoy the work I do supporting ERGs because I believe they are so important in building community and fostering inclusion. We have seven incredible ERGs at Interac. I also love fostering community and culture through our enterprise-wide D&I events.
What comes to mind when you think about your journey at Interac?
I’m consistently reminded of the joy of continuous learning, the strong support system that surrounds me, and being part of an incredible team. I also think about all the fun I have had at Interac in just less than a year and there’s so much to look forward to. We spend a lot of our lives at work we might as well make it fun!
Describe your journey as a Black professional in Toronto navigating the FinTech space.
Being in the fintech space is exciting and I am thrilled to see the growing number of Black professionals in this space. I think there is something for everyone here. I enjoy being in an environment that has so many growth opportunities and values innovation. There are also some great opportunities to expand your knowledge and engage with the broader community, for instance I had the pleasure of attending events and conferences such as Collision and Elevate, as well the Black Professionals in Tech BFUTR Summit which was a great space to network with Black professionals.
What makes Interac a unique place to work?
I would say the culture. It feels amazing working somewhere that deeply values its people and the importance of diversity and inclusion. I have the privilege of ensuring D&I is embedded into the design of the business through our commitment to D&I education, initiatives and events, creating a space for collective learning and understanding. One that comes to mind was our keynote address for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on going beyond land acknowledgment, where I took so many great learnings from. In addition, there are lots of perks to working at Interac such as quiet hours, learning and development opportunities, flexible work, and wellness weekends in the summer!
What does inclusion mean to you?
Inclusion to me means making space for everyone and being intentional about it. Inclusion means every individual feeling a sense of belonging, truly feeling seen, heard, and empowered to do your best. This also means translating this to foster an environment where everyone feels psychologically safe and knows they have equitable opportunities. I think we all share the responsibility of creating an inclusive environment.
What advice would you give to Black youth looking to start their career?
My advice would be to always follow your curiosity and to be intentional about what you want in your career. To this day, following my curiosity is some of the best advice I have received, and it is what led me to working at Interac. It also comes down to being intentional about what you want to have a purpose driven career path and so that you can be your best advocate.
Interac is committed to supporting small businesses across Canada. Is there a Black-owned business in Canada you are proud to support and would like to share?
I tell everyone that they need to try Wanaag, a Somali restaurant in downtown Toronto where you can find authentic Somali food! If you visit, make sure to save space for the milk cake for dessert.