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Arwa Mahdawi

Speaker Arwa Mahdawi
Writer and CEO, Rent-a-Minority
  • Rent-A-Minority has been covered by the BBC, Le Monde, the Huffington Post, NPR, and The Atlantic among other major news outlets
  • Formerly a partner at New York creative agency Cummins&Partners

Within a month of its launch, Arwa’s Rent-A-Minority website received more than 91,000 visits, approximately 500 applications to become a minority for rent and a couple of genuine inquiries to rent a minority.

The chief minority officer

A quick trip to Arwa Mahdawi’s LinkedIn page – featuring skill endorsements for goat jokes and smiling at dogs (never mind an incisive, wry reduction of LinkedIn) – will offer a first clue as to where the writer and brand strategist’s head is at. Or should we say, the Founder, President, Chief Hopes and Dreams Officer & Chief Minority Officer of website Rent-A-Minority. “A revolutionary new service offering diversity on demand,” Rent-A-Minority helps businesses with all-white-men issues find the right minority for tech conference panels, corporate brochures, awards shows, advertisements and business meetings. Arwa created Rentaminority.com to draw attention to the superficiality of what she calls the “diversity industry,” and the surface-level manner in which diversity issues are often dealt with, especially in business. With the website, and in her own writing for England’s The Guardian, Arwa employs humour to spark dialogue around diversity and discrimination, striking an expert balance between the satirical and the serious as she forthrightly addresses issues and topics encompassing tokenism, “hipster racism,” class, politics, marketing, technology, sexuality and, recently, Lady Doritos. She’s also speaks regularly at advertising, media and tech conferences, and encourages anyone in need of a last-minute minority to give her a call.
“We need to talk about how we talk about diversity.”
Arwa in The Guardian
  • Rent-A-Minority has been covered by the BBC, Le Monde, the Huffington Post, NPR, and The Atlantic among other major news outlets
  • Formerly a partner at New York creative agency Cummins&Partners

Within a month of its launch, Arwa’s Rent-A-Minority website received more than 91,000 visits, approximately 500 applications to become a minority for rent and a couple of genuine inquiries to rent a minority.