Episode 9 | Guest: Naheed Nenshi

Episode 9 | Guest: Naheed Nenshi

Update: 2022-06-30


As we celebrate Canada Day, we look at how we can take pride in our country but also be more proactive in making it a more equitable and inclusive society. Joining us for this conversation is the former mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi. Naheed is a passionate Calvarian, an accomplished business professional, and a community leader with a solid track record of getting things done. While he served as mayor from 2010 to 2021 he successfully led Calgary through a massive flood, spearheaded some major infrastructure projects to revitalize the city, and he even won the 2014 World Mayor Prize. In this episode, he shares the story of how his family came to live in Canada, why they chose this country, the flaws in the Canadian immigration system, and how we need to change this. Tuning in you’ll hear Naheed’s thoughts on how to address inequity and racism in the workplace. Naheed provides some profound insight on the creation of empathy, the value of setting aside our egos, the importance of letting go of our own defensiveness and assumptions, as well as other steps we can take toward equity in our country. Naheed is famous for his Three Things for Calgary initiative. To find out how you can make Canada more equitable and inclusive by doing just three things, tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to today’s guest Naheed Nenshi and his impressive career.
  • The story of how Naheed’s family came to Canada and why they chose this country.
  • The importance of welcoming immigrants to Canada in order to create harmony and inclusion.
  • How the Canadian immigration system unfairly functions as a bait and switch system and the need for this to change.
  • How we need to be proud of what we’ve built but also understand that we are not an anti-racist society.
  • Speculation as to whether or not we are ready as a society to become completely equitable.
  • Naheed’s thoughts on how to address inequity and racism in the workplace. 
  • Why we have to let go of our own defensiveness and our own assumptions.
  • The importance of investigating institutional or systemic barriers to employment or promotion in your workplace.
  • How to support minority-owned businesses through adjusting procurement and supply chain policies.
  • A real-life example that demonstrates how we need to challenge our most basic assumptions. 
  • How putting the blame on systemic racism lets racist individuals off the hook.
  • Questions on how to create a sense of empathy. 
  • Setting aside your ego and accepting that nobody is getting everything that they want as a step toward equity. 
  • Thoughts on meritocracy versus diversity in the hiring process and how these are not mutually exclusive.
  • Insight into Naheed’s Three Things for Calgary initiative and how you can do three things to make Canada more equitable and inclusive.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Naheed Nenshi

Naheed Nenshi on Twitter

Building Up: Making Canada’s Cities Magnets for Talent and Engines of Development

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion









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Episode 9 | Guest: Naheed Nenshi

Episode 9 | Guest: Naheed Nenshi

Anne-Marie Pham