Katie Mohamed is a renowned television broadcaster, who founded Brandfusion and W-Suite. From a media personality background, she ventured into business and built Brandfusion from the ground up – a business hub which offers client solutions and models through consultation, training, change management, facilitation, as well as coaching modules that allow for knowledge transfer.
Mohamed is also the founder of W-Suite, a movement that aims to create room for inclusion by spearheading the acceleration of women leaders in positions of power and influence. W-Suite was established to drive the creation of a new culture of leadership that promotes the meaningful participation of women in development spaces and aids thriving communities with a strong female economy.
Nounouche sat down with Katie to uncover more of this pioneer’s flame. She shares her vision and mission behind her entrepreneurial journey, while letting us in on the woman behind the brands and what really defines her.
“I am defined by my desire to be content and comfortable. I admire and appreciate people that share my values. I actively work to ensure everything I do or say comes from a place of resonance and appreciation. It has taken time for me to be at this space in my life – my personal and business endeavours have to be aligned with what is authentically me.”
Mohamed adds that she lives her truth by being authentic, intentional and purposeful. “The more I get older, the more I realise that what makes me who I am is being a change agent, distinguished by my own voice and how I express myself, my edgy style and my unforgettable mannerisms,” she said. The entrepreneur adds that one thing that sets her apart is that she is her word and that she is consistent. “My successes are built around my disciplines, I have taught myself to refine myself as I grow. It has been my commitment to myself as I travel my own path through my life,” she said.
The dynamic businesswoman cites having gotten into her industry because the career chose her. Having always believed in following a path towards greatness, alongside this burning passion and fire, came her love for media and marketing. “I wanted opportunities to contribute to being part of an exciting fast forward industry and believed that my skills were best suited for the media/marketing industry,” she said. Mohamed adds that as she pursued opportunities that were presented to her, she navigated her path and was motivated to shape how she aligned her passion and purpose.“
One of her most successful ventures, Brandfusion, is an integrated business hub founded on the principles of collaborative intelligence. With respect to this founding journey, Mohamed cites always knowing that she would pioneer a platform of this nature. “Growing up, there were no women that looked like me within this sector and as time went by, I just knew that I would appreciate my own personal agency, and that’s what led me to build Brandfusion,” she said.
Born an entrepreneur, Mohamed says that she has always looked at gaps in the market. “Having a combination of innovation, logic and magic – for me it has always been about more than just the bottom line. “I wanted my business endeavours to have a net positive impact on society and impact in the world,” Mohamed said.
Regardless of how inspiring the journey has been, it has not been a smooth ride. The challenges faced by Mohammed were characterised by the lack of support. “Being a woman firstly, and a woman of colour, is a double whammy. The industry is dominated by men and trying to make your mark takes grit,” she said.
Mohamed cites the entrepreneurial venture as an ecosystem that is challenging due to a number of factors, such as accessing funding, defying social expectations, finding one’s voice, struggling with being taken seriously and owning one’s accomplishments without it being perceived as bragging.
As a single mother, she has had to balance her career whilst juggling the demands of corporate commitments. In light of this obstacle, she agrees that women that have come before her have gone through hurdles and challenges similar to hers in all industries. “They have pioneered and have helped us bridge gaps and opened the world of possibilities,” she said. Mohamed celebrates that these visionaries have set the bar for women like her to be inspired, motivated and instilled a powerful drive to achieve more and to aim higher, unlocking their potential and ambition.
“Colour and gender parities has been a lived reality for me. Although gender disparities exist in corporate, the pandemic has added new urgency and new risks to achieving economic equity,” Mohamed said. She notes that gender pay parities are still very distinctive and equal pay is essential for economic prosperity.
“Societies that value men and women as equal are safer and healthier. It is our human right! If we don’t get this right some women are trapped in negative cycles and gender inequality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and vital for distribution of power and influence,” she adds.
What’s one thing you would do differently in your journey thus far?
Definitely should have been more committed to study. Overall I have no major regrets, and off course I have grown from my mistakes and keep moving forward. I know I have had missed opportunities due to not taking risks. I wish some of my goals were clearer early on in my career however I still remain inspired!
What are three things you wish you knew earlier in your career?
Get a degree, don’t make things personal, negotiation is agency,( saying yes comes with responsibility and knowing your limits) so saying yes and no!
What message of hope would you give to your younger self and those to come after you?
Always know your worth! Don’t worry if you look different. Patience and perseverance does pay off, although it does take time. Stop judging myself and comparing to others, and that I cannot change others but myself and my situation. Choose wisely! And of course most importantly , I made many wishes and promises along the way, and that the hustle is hard, so one moment, one lesson and one decision can completely change your life!
Any projects, ventures that our readers can hear about and support?
As the Founder of W-Suite movement my aim is to continue to spark conversation, advocacy and action towards shifting the balance of power and influence and to co – create a new culture of leadership and opportunities to create a strong female economy. Part of this journey always needs partners and financial support to create these platforms as I play an important role in transforming, mentoring and creating impact, creating a network of collaborations, connectivity and communication. The Foundation ultimately enables impact driven transformation and will host The Women’s Summit in 2023, A Youths, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit and will participate in A Business Retreat in the UAE . All of these are collaborations and need huge content, media and financial support.