We’re excited to introduce you to Dr. Akilah Cadet in our newest editorial series, Business is Booming. Dr. Akilah is the Founder and CEO of Change Cadet, a consulting agency that provides people and companies with services that support anti-racism, diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.
This February, in honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting and interviewing Black-owned business owners who work with Hill House Home, donating to organizations that support racial justice and equity, and highlighting the work of Black artists and creatives.
Where's your favorite place to take a meeting?
At the client’s office because I get to see their work, to go and be in their space. But amidst pandemic life, I’m fine with my office.
Who's your dream person to have a meeting with?
Where do you find inspiration?
I look to myself for #inspo all the time. It’s about tapping into what I like to do and what brings me joy. Beyoncé is always #inspo for me, too.
What was your first job?
When I was 15, I worked as an assistant at a dental office. That's where I started to learn about the bureaucracy of health insurance. It’s also where I got my senior prom date. Guys always assumed I was taken because guys are idiots in high school. The dentist opened his files (I'm pretty sure that's a HIPAA violation). But I had a date with a guy in community college. It was awful, he ended up leaving me for this other woman at prom.
What career would you like in your next life?
A&R. The music industry has always been something I wanted to do, but I didn't really know it was a career. I'm a child of an immigrant, so I was supposed to be a doctor. But there’s just something really powerful thinking about brand and image and how the world gets access to music.
What outfit do you feel the most confident in?
Obviously, my Akilah dress is a good one. I also really love my Ivy Park sweats. Beyoncé makes me buy sweats.
What’s your theme song?
“Before I Let Go,” Beyoncé's version from the Homecoming Live album. It’s just a reminder of how awesome and great I am.
What's on your desk right now?
I have my ring light and my speakerphone amplifier. I always have a notebook because I love paper, pens, highlighters… Always a bottle of water, usually a mug of some tea that I haven’t finished, medicine, and a massager.
Who do you call when you need a pep talk?
It depends on the situation. My twin sister, probably.
What are you really good at?
Problem solving is my thing. I do it with my friends, with family, at work. I’m a Virgo.
What's your favorite way to celebrate success?
I've done a horrible job celebrating my success, I'm good with celebrating little wins. I always have mini brownies, cupcakes or a mini piece of candy.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Clint Smith's How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America.
What are you watching right now?
Just finished Inventing Anna. Excited about Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Reunion.
Is there an app you’re obsessed with right now?
Where do you get your news?
The New York Times app. It keeps me going. Also, Instagram. Typically for stuff around injustices, Instagram tends to be the first pulse of things.
Favorite take-out food?
How do you unwind?
I'm good at unwinding. I say “no” to things. I have a pretty strict rule of thumb with working. Unless I'm on a deadline, I'm pretty much done around 5:00 PM because I'm an old lady and I like to have dinner at 5:30. Trashy television is always great. I'm a bath person. I'm obsessed with my Whirlpool tub. Listening to music. TikTok.
What's an organization that you’re interested in or recently have donated to?
Black Mamas Matter. At some point, I want to be a mom and the amount of weight and burden and thought of death that I have to carry to become a mom…I love organizations like that that are helping women in different ways to be a mom.