Achieving Inclusion Isn't Just Talk: Bahja Johnson Speaks OutGuilty Privilege

Achieving Inclusion Isn't Just Talk: Bahja Johnson Speaks Out

Meet Bahja Johnson, Head of Equality and Belonging at Gap Inc., and she joins Amber Cabral to explore some incredibly important topics, like colorism, privilege, and the unique challenges that the world of retail and fashion faces when it comes to making a positive impact. Bahja highlights the pivotal role that equity plays in the fashion industry and the critical importance of making equitable decisions, especially when it comes to areas like product design and hiring practices.

They also discuss the amount of courage it takes for leaders to drive change and the necessity of translating diversity, equity, and inclusion goals into tangible, financial terms. After all, real transformation in the retail industry requires strategic thinking, financial incentives, and an unwavering commitment to nurturing diverse and inclusive spaces. Trust, impact, and time all come into play when we're working towards lasting change. Bahja believes in using her privilege to make a real difference and she's absolutely unapologetic about it. Her journey is filled with incredible sponsors who recognize her potential and give her the support and opportunities she needs to flourish. She emphasizes the incredible significance of sponsorship in one's career journey and encourages us all

to seek out sponsors who truly believe in us, even if they challenge us along the way.

Ultimately, this episode is a treasure trove of wisdom, touching on leadership, diversity, and the incredible power of leveraging privilege to drive positive change. So, get ready for a conversation that's not just insightful but also deeply inspirational. You won't want to miss a moment of it!


-As a leader, fear of failure is a key barrier to diversity and inclusion

-Don't expect instant results, invest in your own time, study customer feedback, and adapt strategies as needed

-Recognize and use your privilege to ensure diversity and equity in your organization

-Seek sponsors who believe in you and can create opportunities

-When you find a sponsor, be clear and direct about your needs and what you want to achieve

-Remember that you always have something to share


"We had a responsibility as an industry to be able to think about all people." -Bahja Johnson

"It takes time to build trust. It takes time to build trust in a relationship. It takes hard to build trust with a partnership." -Bahja Johnson

"Everything is better with equity in mind." -Bahja Johnson

"I need you to be able to use your privilege and your power and your impact and your title to uphold everything that we've taught you." -Bahja Johnson

"If I didn't do something with all of this privilege, it'd be a slap in the face to every single person before me who didn't have as much." -Bahja Johnson

"I feel like we have to have the expectation that having a mindset of equality and belonging takes time. " - Amber Cabral


Bahja Johnson

IG | @bahjaleila

LinkedIn | bahjajohnson

Facebook | bahja.johnson

Twitter | @bahjaleila

Amber Cabral

IG | @bamcabral

LinkedIn | @ambercabral

Facebook | @amber.cabral

Twitter | @BamCabral

Grab a copy of Amber’s books at Amazon!

Allies and Advocates: Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Culture

Say More About That: ...And Other Ways to Speak Up, Push Back, and Advocate for Yourself and Others

Guilty Privilege is produced by EPYC Media Network

View Transcript

WOW! I am always enthralled by the conversations had and topics discussed on this podcast. As someone who rarely feels motivated or inspired, I am so grateful to have found this podcast. I have shared this podcast with so many people in my life as each episode offers a brilliant mind’s insight. This past episode I had to pull over and just allow myself to feel the the feeling of motivation and then gratitude. This show doesn’t present itself as a self help podcast, nor does it attempt to—for lack of a better word— preach to it’s audience. However, every episode I find myself unapologetically happy with myself. I find myself sharing this podcast hoping others feel this feeling. Having access to this podcast is one privilege I absolutely refuse to feel guilty for—and boy what a privilege it is!

Experiment six two six
Guilty Privilege

Great listen/watch. People really underrate how important emotional intelligence is in business. Hopefully more people will listen and utilize some of the information shared.
Guilty Privilege

Amber has a genuine ability to bring out the authentic aspects of topics that many of us must want to sit down and have a conversation about! Refreshing, compelling and yes, entertaining — can’t wait for each episode to drop and I even feel more equipped to expand on these topics in my own circle!

Guilty Privilege

This podcast provides a path to self-awareness in the most refreshing and engaging way. The conversations are so yummy (yes, yummy!) and they make me feel like I’m sitting on the sofa with Amber and her guests.

Guilty Privilege
About The Show
Subscribe to be notified of new episodes!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ready to start your podcast?

Make an impact with your voice and message by applying to become an EPYC Creator to start and launch your podcast with our team.

Launch a podcast