Our Story

We believe Canada is filled with ambitious and talented Black, Indigenous and other self-identifying women of colour (BIWOC) who have the power to advance their careers when given access to influential networks, mentorship, allyship, tools, skills and a range of opportunities at a pivotal time in their lives.

Accelerate Her Future has evolved into a purpose-driven national career accelerator for BIWOC pursuing careers in business and tech. Our tailored programs are designed to provide candidates with opportunities to invest in their career and leadership development, accelerate themselves as strong candidates, and connect meaningfully with mentors/allies and a peer community.

Founded by Dr. Golnaz Golnaraghi, the idea of AHF was born out of her lived experiences as a racialized immigrant woman, years of college/university teaching in business schools, mentorship of early-career women, her doctoral thesis and other research. AHF was a seed of an idea in 2016 as Golnaz knew she wanted to mobilize action and meaningful grassroots solutions to foster more equitable workplaces for BIWOC. In 2018, Golnaz approached Sumayya Daghar, a research partner and founding AHF team member to work together and collaborate closely on AHF’s strategic direction. The need for AHF was solidified that same year when they hosted a design session with students and women of colour to better understand career development experiences. It was unequivocally clear that the lived experiences of BIWOC were not an anomaly. It was also at this session where several members came forward to work with Golnaz and Sumayya.

AHF hosted its first Summit as a pilot offering in October 2019 at the University of Toronto and the response was overwhelmingly positive. After the pandemic, AHF evolved into a national career accelerator with the Fellowship Circle as the first virtual offering. Transitioning to developing a virtual program was not a jump to quick action process, but one that has been intentional. Grounded in years of research and consultations, the Fellowship Circle was co-created with and for BIWOC to inspire and ignite action – for our participants to build networks and community, develop skills and invest in themselves and access opportunities. This investment also requires a community of women supporting women – as mentors, as allies, as connectors, and as a peer community — and why AHF also seeks to foster cultures of active and meaningful allyship through mentors and a community invested in taking their learning to advocate for and advance gender and racial equity within their workplaces and lives.

Vision

Our Mission

The start of an exciting journey.

Our mission is to provide women of colour leadership development, career-readiness skill-building, mentorship, and a diverse influential network of mentors and allies committed to their career success.

Our Vision

We have important work to do.

We envision a world where women of colour are fully participating at all levels of leadership in business and tech.

Our Values

Courageous Action

We believe in informed action over optics. Our action seeks to dismantle systemic barriers. Our action is informed by data, evidence, information and analysis. Systems change starts with each of us taking small steps each day. Our collective effort leads to change. 

 Compassionate Engagement

We believe in the power of community — women of colour at all stages of their careers in business and tech along with mentors and allies. We engage compassionately by honoring multiple lived experiences. We create brave and safe spaces for meaningful conversations and hold each other accountable. 

Authentic Voice

We believe in the power of our authentic voices to talk about issues that matter, to build bridges, and to have honest conversations. As a community, we invest in each other, and support, celebrate and amplify the excellence of women of colour.  

Transformative Solutions

We believe that status quo is no longer an option. We believe in having multiple lived experiences, voices and perspectives at the table to create transformative solutions. We listen, observe, learn, identify what works, learn from what doesn’t, iterate, co-create and share perspectives and solutions that seek to transform.