Yassmin Abdel-MagiedPhoto Credit: Mark Lobo

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Leadership & Diversity Expert | Social Advocate

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is an engineer, author, broadcaster, and award-winning social advocate. Her powerful TED talk, “What does my headscarf mean to you” has more than 1.8 million views, and she has become an internationally renowned speaker on the topics of unconscious bias and leadership. Through her work and thought-provoking talks, Yassmin is on a mission to make diversity the norm across the world through empowerment, empathy, and the power of stories.

At the age of 16, Yassmin founded Youth Without Borders, a youth-led grassroots organisation focused on empowering young people to positively change their communities. Driven by her love of Motorsport, she also designed a race car at 19, and graduated valedictorian with first class honours from mechanical engineering. Yassmin then went on to work as one of the few female engineers on oil and gas rigs around Australia, while continuing to advocate for social justice.

Yassmin became a lightening rod for Australia’s discussions on race, gender, and faith after an appearance on a panel show went viral, garnering more than 12 million views in less than a week. She was the presenter for the national current affairs show Australia Wide, as well as the host for the ground-breaking documentary The Truth About Racism, and co-host of the podcast “Motor Mouth”, on becoming a Formula 1 driver.

A bestselling author, Yassmin published her debut memoir, Yassmin’s Story at the age of 24 and her writing has appeared in publications worldwide, including The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Australian Financial Review. She is also the author of the children’s fiction book You Must Be Layla.

Yassmin has served on numerous boards and councils, and is currently the founder of Mumtaza and an internationally sought-after advisor on issues facing women, youth, and those from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds. She has spoken in more than 20 countries across five continents

Beating your Bias

What assumptions do you have when you see a woman wearing a headscarf? Well, think again. In this funny, honest, and empathetic talk, Yassmin Abdel-Magied challenges us to look beyond our initial perceptions and to open doors to new ways of supporting others.

Yassmin will explore the concepts of unconscious bias and structural marginalization within societies and workplaces. In a lighthearted but incisive manner, she will illustrate how discrimination operates, what ways it ostracizes members of the group and what we as individuals and organisations can do about it.


At 16, Yassmin Abdel-Magied had founded Youth Without Borders, a non-for-profit empowering young people to realize their full potential. At 19, Yassmin was running a racing car team, and by 21, she was the first female engineer in her company’s department in Australia — working as a fly in, fly out field specialist on oil and gas rigs.

In this talk, Yassmin uses stories and statistics to explore the ways being outside the norm affects your career, and what individuals and organisations can do about it.


How do our mindsets affect our ability to navigate the world around us? Yassmin Abdel-Magied talks about how mindsets, like our gender mindset, can be used to physically re-wire our brains. Individual actions may not change the structural obstacles, but we can control our responses to what happens around us. This is a speech on taking back control and realizing the power of the stories we tell ourselves.