Reshaping Organizations for Equity – A Conversation with André Darmanin & Jenny Vazquez-Newsum

Reshaping Organizations for Equity – A Conversation with André Darmanin & Jenny Vazquez-Newsum 

In this enlightening episode of Mission Megaphone, host Jenny Vazquez-Newsum sits down with André Darmanin, CEO of Urban Equity Consulting, a consulting firm with a mission to redefine organizational leadership and push for systemic change. André, a seasoned leadership consultant, takes us on a journey to explore the true essence of leadership and reshape organizations to embrace equity and diversity.

André speaks of his background often throughout the episode, as it is a key factor in his passion for supporting progress in organizations journey with EDI.

“After 25 years of working with Canadian and international communities, and seeing that the current systems were not working for residents and employees from marginalized communities, something clicked! I knew what needed to be done, but that also required organizational leadership, culture, and systemic change. With my passion for innovation and advancing equity, I wanted to be a part of the solution.” – André Darmanin

Read more about Equity Consulting Services here:

With André’s wealth of knowledge in the EDI space, we knew he would be a perfect guest to reflect on the untapped leadership that roots itself within organizational culture with our guest host, Jenny Vazquez-Newsum.

Main Themes Explored

Defining Leadership

Leadership is not confined to titles; it’s about influence, adaptability, and embracing diverse perspectives. André reminds us that holding a senior title does not automatically make you a great leader. It is the values you hold and the way you influence those around you.

When you realize that titles are not everything, you can shift away from the status anxiety that titles come along with and know that the letters that make up your position do not make up YOU. What really defines you as a leader is knowing what your responsibilities are, knowing you’re accountable to the work you do, and knowing that you’re leading those initiatives to make your organization better.

You are only one piece of the puzzle, and bringing in those around you who have different lived experiences to reflect on and different values or visions is what André defines as true leadership.

Embracing Culture

Cultural intelligence and empathy drive authentic leadership in today’s multifaceted world. We must look to the many cultures of the world and embrace their diverse perspectives on workplace culture and leadership to improve our own.

André puts forward an example of a time he was working on a project during which they were discussing lived experiences in terms of delivering healthcare services, because Black and Indigenous folks and People of Color have their own cultural traditions, cultural foods, etc. that come into play when talking about healthcare or the services in healthcare that they seek or may not accept due to cultural traditions.

As an organizational leader, it is crucial to build your cultural intelligence and utilize that when making leadership decisions. You don’t have to only rely on the mission, vision, and values of the company. You should be relying on the mission, vision, and values of your diverse team members who have an important voice. There is no doubt that you will come out of the other end of a meeting, brainstorming session, etc. with new and fresh perspectives because of the cultural diversity that everyone has in their lived experiences.

Pushing Through Discomfort

There is no change without discomfort. Organizations must embrace discomfort, listen to diverse voices, and create spaces for untapped potential. As leaders, we also must push through the discomfort to challenge the status quo to unlock the change we wish to see. André has always seen himself as who makes people uncomfortable, in the sense of pushing much-needed change.

“Change is uncomfortable. Being accountable is uncomfortable.” – André Darmanin

But as we all know, there is no growth without challenges. There is no growth without a little rain, right? So next time you’re feeling out of your comfort zone in pushing for what you know is right or a change that is needed – just remember that it is an opportunity to grow.

Know Your Worth

Know yourself, trust your abilities, and be confident in your unique contribution to transformative change. We often fall into patterns of self-doubt, doubting the work we produce or our ability to inspire and lead the team around us. However, a key starting point in unlocking your untapped leadership is recognizing the worth you have as a leader. It’s not always about your work being perfect or your ability to delegate tasks.

A recurring theme we have seen throughout all of our episodes this season is that true leadership shines through your authenticity. It’s in being true to yourself, the values you hold, and being your full authentic self that you will inspire your team and hold their respect as their leader.

We invite you to tune in to this empowering episode as André Darmanin sheds light on the untapped potential within us all, inviting us to become leaders who shape a brighter, more inclusive future.

And when you find inspiration, make sure to pass it on!

Follow Urban Equity Consulting:

LinkedIn: Urban Equity Consulting Services

Facebook: Urban Equity Consulting Services

Instagram: @urbanequityconsulting


Connect With André:

LinkedIn: André D.

Instagram: @andre_darmanin

Webcast: Global Conversations Webcast

Follow us on Instagram:





Connect with us on LinkedIn:

Growth Network Podcasts

Untapped Leaders

Jenny Vazquez-Newsum

Mission Megaphone is a Growth Network Podcasts production.

🌱Production by Marsha Ord and Lynz Floren.

🌱Music Produced by Nicholas Fournier.

🌱Promotional Support by Marsha Ord.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *