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Interview with Edmund Asiedu

by | Jul 30, 2021 | Interviews,

Edmund Asiedu

Edmund Asiedu

Policy Analyst, Accessibility at New York City Department of Transportation
Key Topics:Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, Disability Rights
Location:United States
Bio:
Edmund is a passionate disability inclusion professional with successful experience in advocating for accessibility. He uses he/him/his pronouns. Before joining NYC Department of Transportation as a Policy Analyst for Accessibility, he held positions at Columbia University, Berkeley College, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, National Disability Rights Network, and Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled. He served on the Disability Access and Accommodations Committee at Columbia University Medical Center and was recently ranked amongst Top 50 Influencers: Diversity and Inclusion by Onalytica. Currently, Edmund serves on the Board of Advisors at National Disability Mentoring Coalition.
Edmund recently featured in Onalytica's Diversity & Inclusion report.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I was inspired by my own disability and many individuals with disabilities around the world to advocate for inclusive employment, education, society, etc. while raising awareness on abilities of persons with disabilities.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

Disability inclusion, job accommodation, inclusive hiring, mentoring.

Who influences you within these topics?

David Lepofsky, Andy Imparato, Commissioner Victor Calise, Neil Milliken, Antonio Vieira Santos, Debra Ruh, Catia Malaquias, David L. Casey.

What challenges are brands facing in this space?

Challenges brands face in this space are:
  1. Communication challenges: Organizations may have different styles of communication, employees with hearing disabilities, etc. that may become problematic if they are handled professionally.
  2.  Workplace inequity: Inclusive workplaces will have different meanings to different employees in the workforce. For instance, working parents would be happy because of flexible spending accounts benefits. It is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that every employee’s feedback and needs are valued and have been catered for respectively even if it takes a longer period of time.
  3. Discrimination: There will always be biases, discrimination, and harassment as organizations strive to be more inclusive and diverse. These are usually related to ability, age, race, gender, or LGBTQ+ identity. This can prevent people from being who they are, which can lead to lack of innovation and creativity.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

The future of workplace diversity and inclusion looks great. Organizations can reach their greatness by appreciating everyone in their workforce irrespective of their ability, age, gender, race, and LGBTQ+ identity. Employers must be intentional about their diversity and inclusion programs from development to implementation of such programs. There should be a strategy to unearth all talents, especially talents of the largest minority group globally (people with disabilities).

What brands are leading the way in this space?

The Valuable 500, and Disability:IN.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Speaking opportunities.

What are your passions outside of work?

Handcycling and volunteering.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Email.


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