The BYP had the opportunity to speak with Ayoub Bourassi, the charismatic and dynamic Head of the Global Commercial Operations for the Hach Company, a global organization that creates systems designed to test the quality of water and other liquid solutions.
Hach is part of the Danaher Corporation family of global science and technology companies.
With such a huge responsibility to the world, Ayoub chooses to focus on the interpersonal relationships within his team and the magnificent company culture that supports individuals bringing their authentic selves and personal strengths to the work environment.
Ayoub has a ten-year tenure with Hach that started with an informal meeting over coffee. While he was not on the search for a new job opportunity, being the industrial finance controller for the Coca-Cola Company at the time, the connection to the core values, the chemistry, and overall positive company culture heightened Ayoub’s intuition to join the ranks.
Here, he highlights how diversity drives the global conglomerate and why human connectivity is imperative to corporate success.
BYP: What is your position within Hach? Tell us a little bit about your day to day at work.
Ayoub: I’m based out of Paris, France, where I [was] raised. My role is the Senior Director for Global Commercial Operations. My role is spearheading the internal commercial support to the field sales, service, and marketing with customer service, [etc]. Hach is a great company to work for, a lot of openness, a lot of emphasis on diversity and inclusion and making sure that people can be centered around development. People can just be themselves, and that’s what I did since day one which enabled me to be successful.
BYP: What does diversity in action look like within your company?
Ayoub: Diversity starts with everything we do. Making sure that we embrace the differences. From hiring people that are diverse—having diverse mindsets, experience, color, gender and so forth. It just enables people to be real, authentic. And forget about the “I should look like something.” But truly, “Hey this is what I am. This is how I can perform, and this is how I can deliver.” It brings so much variety to the way we do business, the way we interact with our customers, so that’s our engine. That’s what motivates me every day.
BYP: Out of all these diversity initiatives, have you noticed any blind spots?
Ayoub: Yes. I’ve witnessed that we can be quickly judged for who we are. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with great leaders that walk the talk with diversity and [they’ve] helped me grow in that space and help foster that around me. Unfortunately, I still observe some blind spots. We will just need to continue to spread the message and raise awareness that there are some things that are not acceptable.
BYP: What were some challenges that you faced and tools that helped you to overcome them and ensure they didn’t impact you professionally and personally?
Ayoub: Personally, I have been subject to a lot of challenges, around my origin, my social class, my skin color, my religion. Because of that, I had to become stronger. I’ve had a great opportunity at Hach to get a lot of coaching sessions and advocation around diversity. Mentorship is one of the key elements that helped me grow. Otherwise, I would have given up. Very recently, I have experienced adversity and that’s very unfortunate, so it is still continuously a focus for me.
BYP: How do you take the time to celebrate your accomplishments?
Ayoub: I’m not the guy that speaks too much about myself, but sometimes you need to. You have to speak about yourself to others in order to give them hope. I do it through mentorship, through good connections with people, and giving back. Celebration can take multiple traits.
BYP: What do you think that companies need to do more in order to harness Black and minority talent and retain them?
Ayoub: Part of what we will need to keep doing is creating a safe space for minorities. They need to feel that those corporations and companies embrace who they are. The first task is to create mental safety and trust. If you don’t have that within the culture of the company, it won’t work. That’s what made me motivated to stay with Hach, the human aspect. We are strengthening that, it’s a focus.
BYP: What sort of legacy do you want to leave behind and why?
Ayoub: Legacy for me is truly about change. What I want to leave is behavior change, mindset change, words, and acts. Like, how people will act differently and, if I can do that, that’s my win. This can be from the everyday acts to the bigger investments. The one thing I would like to teach my daughters is to be open-minded, to learn and grow from what’s different from them.
Check out Danaher’s employer page for inspiring roles and how you can help further champion diversity and inclusion within your workplace.