April 11, 2018
In the business world, the archetypal leader in power is somebody who is supposed to appear perfect, all-knowing, and unassailable. They have grown adept at managing their image, and cover much of who they are in order to fit a certain mold.
But times are changing. And "what got you here won't get you there," as Marshall Goldsmith would say. We're entering a new era of authenticity, in which trust is paramount and showing up as your full and vulnerable self is encouraged - however far outside your comfort zone that may take you.
Younger generations, in particular, no longer want the sanitized version of who you are. They want to understand how you got where you are today, what mistakes [...]
January 9, 2018
What you need to know about behavior, guidelines & succeeding in the workplace today
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, which has seen many women break their silence about sexual assault and harassment, many are feeling unsettled and unclear when it comes to navigating gender differences in the workplace.
There's a real danger that men, in particular, become more self-conscious about having the honest conversations that women - and many other underrepresented individuals in the workplace - so desperately need in order to advance, as revealed in the recent Women in the Workplace 2017 report from Lean In and McKinsey.
As JBC Founder & CEO Jennifer Brown said in [...]
December 22, 2017
January is a great month to pause and reflect on the past year. I hope 2017 brought you hope and a renewed sense of purpose.
Here are some of my favorite moments from the past few months - I hope you'll pour yourself your favorite beverage, kick back and take a minute or two to celebrate your favorite moments with me.
[caption id="attachment_6428" align="alignnone" width="800"] (Delivering my keynote at the Better Man Conference in San Francisco, CA, Sept 2017)[/caption]
1. Favorite conference
Delivering the keynote at the Better Man Conference was one of the highlights of my year. It was incredible to be in a room with so many men who are doing the work around healthy masculinity [...]
November 9, 2017
By Elfi Martinez, Senior Consultant at JBC
Editor's Note: Elfi is a senior consultant at JBC. Below, you can read part 2 (the final part) of his story about working in Hollywood, before finally finding his true calling as a diversity and inclusion expert and senior consultant at JBC. You can read part 1 of his story, about growing up growing up as a Puerto Rican in Chicago and working on Wall Street here.
Affirmative Action Babies
In terms of outright hostility towards women and minorities, Wall Street can’t hold a candle to Hollywood. The “Boys Club” of Hollywood writing rooms remains fossilized from the 1960s. And given the fierce competition for ever-dwindling jobs, will l [...]
November 2, 2017
Prologue – Choose
I have been blessed with profound opportunities in my life. I have been an executive at a Wall Street bank, a Diversity & Leadership Development Consultant, and a TV writer. I have seen the view from the top of the food chain, and while attractive from afar, things look different… oh, so very different, from up close.
My generation was the first to be born in the United States. In a painful attempt at assimilation, my parents unconsciously chose not to teach me Spanish. They wanted to spare me the tribulations of overcoming an accent in America.
It worked. Many times, when meeting me in person, people are shocked that I’m Latino, and my verbal neutrality [...]
September 20, 2017
By Jennifer Brown, President & Founder
Every last one of us knows what it feels like to be excluded. We have all experienced it, albeit some of us more often and, perhaps, more intensely than others—and we all have a diversity story, even those you might not expect.
We have distinct differences, but our fundamental needs and wants as individuals are the same. We all want to be Welcomed, Valued, Respected, and HeardSM.
Just as institutions have founding stories so, too, do people: the experiences that shaped them, lessons they learned along the way, the source of their values, their passion, what makes them unique, and why they care about what they care about.
There is [...]
August 8, 2017
Elisabeth K. Kelan, Professor of Leadership at Cranfield School of Management at the London School of Economics recently published an article entitled “Men Doing and Undoing Gender at Work: A Review and Research Agenda,” in the International Journal of Management Reviews. She reviewed data from a comprehensive array of studies on the ways in which men are either reinforcing barriers or working to cultivate gender equality in the workplace.
The data shows that, in many cases, men are not even aware that they may be hindering progress and privileging the masculine through their behaviors.
Male privilege includes the social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are made [...]
June 7, 2017
Recently we ran across a new report released by Open MIC about the lack of racial diversity in the tech industry. This is a topic we're often asked about as we travel to speak, consult and train companies in diversity and inclusion.
Other industries ask us all the time, "What are they doing in the tech sector about this?" Our answer always surprises them: They aren't doing much better than other industries!
The irony is that companies like Google and Facebook are at the forefront of so many innovations and new practices, and yet their lack of diversity undermines things like their financial performance, which investors are paying close attention to.
A new report titled, “Bre [...]
May 16, 2017
This is the third in a three-part series by Elizabeth Derby, Senior Consultant at JBC, curating key takeaways from the Global Summit of Women’s 2017 Colloquium on Global Diversity, “Creating a Level Playing Field for Women.”
The event saw Irene Natividad, President of the Global Summit of Women, bring together a distinguished collection of senior-level speakers who each shared insights and best practices around achieving gender parity in the C-Suite.
You can read part one, on creating a level playing field for women, here.
You can read part two, on driving sustainable change with bold next practices, here.
At this year’s Colloquium on Global Diversity, numerous C-sui [...]
May 11, 2017
When it comes to Employee Resource Groups (or "ERGs"), we've come a long way.
Once considered merely social networks to support underrepresented groups, today they have become widely used tools in the organizational quest to create diverse environments that reflect our changing workforce and marketplaces.
These networks drive greater workplace inclusion and are laboratories for bringing our full selves - and all of our diverse identities - to work. They are a living, breathing example of how diversity drives business results, and all leaders should be paying close attention.
We documented this shift in our popular ERG Benchmarking Report, supported by long-time JBC client, [...]
April 11, 2017
This is the second in a three-part series by Elizabeth Derby, Senior Consultant at JBC, curating key takeaways from the Global Summit of Women’s 2017 Colloquium on Global Diversity, "Creating a Level Playing Field for Women."
You can read part one here.
The event saw Irene Natividad, President of the Global Summit of Women, bring together a distinguished collection of senior-level speakers who each shared insights and best practices around achieving gender parity in the C-suite.
At this year's Colloquium on Global Diversity, it was heartening to hear the next practices and bold actions that companies are taking to spur engagement with, and accountability from, leaders [...]
March 30, 2017
This is the first in a three-part series by Elizabeth Derby, Senior Consultant at JBC. Elizabeth has over 25 years of line and human capital expertise, and is adept at partnering to drive change and results-focused inclusion and diversity approaches — translating inclusion and diversity into talent, culture and business results.
Last month, the Global Summit of Women’s 2017 Colloquium on Global Diversity, "Creating a Level Playing Field for Women", generated lively dialogue and networking amongst 75+ participants from all over the globe, galvanizing them around a sense of urgency to intentionally disrupt the status quo.
Motivated by the universal sentiment "We can’t wait 1 [...]
December 19, 2016
With the need to process the shockwaves of change that have occurred over the last month, we at Jennifer Brown Consulting (“JBC”) have found ourselves on the front lines of numerous important discussions and sharing of thoughts and ideas amongst our community of diversity and inclusion (D&I) change agents.
What we’ve felt, personally and professionally, and what we’ve heard from our workforce colleagues, have challenged us to revisit, and question, some core beliefs and practices in terms of how we “do” diversity in the modern organization.
Beginning with our first hosted online gathering on November 9th, the day after the election, and subsequent weekly online forums, [...]
December 15, 2016
A few weeks back, Jennifer Brown—an award-winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker and diversity and inclusion expert, and the founder, president and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting, LLC—officially launched her new book “Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will To Change.” Not only did it shoot up to #1 in Amazon’s Best Sellers chart, but it was also awarded “#1 New Release” by Amazon in four different categories: Business & Organizational Learning, Business Consulting, Knowledge Capital, and Workplace Culture.
Right before the book launched, our team at JBC found a minute to ask Jennifer more about her reasons behind writing the book now, after more than [...]
November 29, 2016
As we all know (and have felt) by now, this year’s presidential campaign was incredibly divisive along the lines of gender, education, and ethnicity. The immediate spike in the number of hate crimes demonstrates how deep the fractures go in our society, and how exclusion – from economic opportunity, or by a hyper-focus on diversity – is being deeply felt and experienced by so many.
The inevitable, and uncomfortable, conclusion is that many of us were not aware of, or didn’t prioritize, full inclusion – in our lives, in our organizations, and in our society. Given this collective blind spot, and the new reality of our country’s incoming leadership as a result, what will we do d [...]
November 2, 2016
Have you ever felt forced to suppress your true self in an effort to survive in the workplace? If so, you’re not the only one.
According to Uncovering Talent: A New Model of Inclusion—a study by Kenji Yoshino and Christie Smith for Deloitte University—many in the workplace do this. It’s called “covering” and is defined as “downplaying a known stigmatized identity.”
Yoshino and Smith identified 4 main categories in which people feel the need to downplay their identities:
Appearance: individuals change grooming, attire, and mannerisms (e.g., tattoos, dreadlocks).
Affiliation: individuals do not talk about meaningful relationships (e.g., motherhood).
Advocacy: i [...]
October 27, 2016
It’s the smallest things that help those outside the norm feel included, respected, and valued, not just at work but also in everyday life.
For example, as a diversity and inclusion expert, I often explore both unconscious bias and the ramifications of privilege with my clients. When the role of privilege isn’t understood by leaders who’ve unwittingly benefited from it because of their ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic background, I find there is less understanding about—and compassion for—the particular difficulties some face in today’s organizations who are in the minority. When I hear such statements from leadership as “everyone has equal opportunity here”, it confir [...]
October 17, 2016
Remember Leslie Miley?
In the fall of 2015, he created ripples of raised eyebrows across the tech world (and beyond) when he blogged about his decision to leave Twitter, the social media giant. His reason?
Their poor response to diversity issues—specifically those revolving around its hiring practices and the low representation of black and Hispanic workers in its workforce.
Miley’s revelation rang loud and wide, and it raised some tough questions for everyone within earshot. How bad did an experience have to be in order to justify quitting a job that most in your field would do anything to have?
Fast forward to early 2016, when I found myself presenting on the topic of build [...]
August 19, 2015
JBC Executive Recommends Conference As Way to Grow and Support LGBT Business
There’s no better place to experience a truly inclusive business community than at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Conference, according to Jennifer Brown, CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC).
And if you work at it, she advises, you can get a taste of the success it engenders, and build valuable and long-lasting relationships with potential clients and partners as a result. But most powerful is the mutual commitment between suppliers like JBC and the large corporations that attend to do business together that revitalizes Brown, as she continues to fulfill her company’s mission of he [...]
June 30, 2015
June’s PRIDE month has just passed and there’s still no better time to tell a diversity story that shows just how much we all still struggle with coming out and are prone to stereotyping others.
Yes, this particular tale applies even to those of us who preach inclusion for a living! And it emerged in an interview I did recently with StartOut.
You see, through Jennifer Brown Consulting, I coach corporate talent and leaders at all levels on how to tell and retell their diversity story. It’s one aspect of the business I started in 2006, a business I built to promote and perpetuate diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with an eye on fostering business growth and a healthy, inclusive [...]