Diversity, Equity, and Belonging in Customer Experience: A Conversation with Sean Mohammed

by Blue Ocean News in Customer Experience

Our podcast team had the pleasure of sitting down with Sean Mohammed, Senior Manager of HR and leader of Blue Ocean’s Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Initiatives. With Pride Month in full swing around the world, this the perfect time to explore how companies in the customer experience industry are creating inclusive workplaces and fostering a sense of belonging for all employees.

Sean, a Blue Ocean veteran of 18 years, shared valuable insights on the evolution of diversity initiatives in the outsourcing industry and how Blue Ocean has been at the forefront of creating a truly inclusive workplace. Here are some highlights from our conversation with Sean Mohammed.

(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.)

Amy Bennet (AB): Sean, what have you seen in terms of the evolution of clients and suppliers caring about the human experience, particularly about diversity and protecting the experience of diverse employees?

Sean Mohammed (SM): People are becoming more aware. Clients, vendors, and potential employees are all looking for companies that are socially aware and understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. We get questions about this during RFP processes from clients and from potential candidates during interviews.

What’s great is that we can relate actual stories and tell real things we’ve done. We have what we call “sticky stories” – real situations we’ve encountered and how we’ve navigated through them. It’s an evolving area, and there’s not one answer that fits everything. The biggest thing is that we’re open to learning, everyone from our senior team to our frontline agents.

AB: Can you talk about how Blue Ocean creates a safe space for people in the LGBTQ2S+ community?

SM: We run an annual engagement survey, and our top score every year is “Diversity is respected in my workplace.” We get a lot of verbatim responses about the processes we have in place and the feeling of belonging people have when they come here.

From the recruitment perspective, our job postings state clearly that if you’re not okay with diversity in the workplace, then don’t apply. It’s that frank, and we get positive comments from applicants about it. We also have a specific question about diversity, equity, and belonging in our interview process.

AB: Let’s talk about the sales cycle and how organizations are measuring a potential supplier’s commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues. How does Blue Ocean demonstrate this commitment?

SM: We’ve been in pitches where that’s been a direct question, which is very encouraging. It’s reciprocal – it’s not just us looking for those partners, but they’re looking for us too. We can speak to policy, not just feeling. For example, we have a service level around supporting people who are transitioning, ensuring their name and pronouns are updated in our systems and communicated to their team and clients.

AB: Before we wrap up, can you talk about Blue Ocean’s approach to Pride Month and how we acknowledge its significance as an organization?

SM: We’ve looked at different ways to participate and show our support. Instead of putting a float in a local Pride parade, we decided to make a direct contribution to Rainbow Railroad. They do tremendous work supporting LGBTQ2S+ individuals fleeing persecution in other countries. This aligns with our commitment to the community and our value of welcoming new Canadians from all over the world.

AB: Lastly, what would you recommend to Canadian organizations looking to navigate today’s world and be exemplary employers for people in marginalized communities?

SM: I highly recommend the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). It’s a treasure trove of knowledge, support, and resources for employers or anyone looking to get information. We’re partners and members, and we make these resources available to all our employees. It’s been a huge benefit to us, and we see some of our current and prospective clients are also members or partners.


This conversation with Sean Mohammed highlights the importance of creating a truly inclusive workplace in the customer experience industry. By implementing concrete policies, fostering open communication, and supporting initiatives that make a real difference, companies like Blue Ocean are leading the way in diversity, equity, and belonging.

For more information on creating inclusive workplaces, visit the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion at [insert link in show notes]. And if you’re looking for an outsourced customer care partner that values all people, be sure to visit


Want to hear the full interview between Amy and Sean? Check out Episode 13 of Deep CX: A Blue Ocean Podcast!


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