Jennifer Brown, an award-winning speaker and founder of diversity and leadership consulting firm Jennifer Brown Consulting, knows what it is like to “put on a performance” day in and day out at the workplace. At a young age, she sang her way into the world of professional opera until a vocal surgery launched her into the professional speaking and consulting world instead. “Everyone has a diversity story,” she recently said during her INBOUND Bold Talks series, adding that most people in the workplace, despite their ethnic background, gender, sexuality, disability, or socio-economic status, admit feeling that they must conceal significant aspects of their identities to feel respected or heard. For Brown, this meant masking her membership in LGBT community and closeting her partner Michelle, which in the long run, “took a huge toll on me.”
In her keynote presentation, “Covering, Intersectionality, and Allyship: The Next Way We Need to Advocate for Inclusive Organizations,” Brown will explore what individuals risk when they leave a significant portion of their identity at home and the cost “covering” incurs on a company. She also plans to discuss how both advantaged and disadvantaged demographics can ally to create a more welcoming environment in the workplace. For over a decade, Jennifer Brown Consulting has counseled a number of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies including Toyota, Starbucks, and Capital One on how to make their workplaces more vibrant and productive: “Everyday we get to work on building more inclusive workplaces where everyone feels welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.”
For Brown’s groundbreaking work in the field of diversity consulting, she has been named by the Social Entrepreneur of the year by the NYC National Association of Women Business Owners, one of the Top 40 Outstanding Women by the Stonewall Community Foundation, and NYC Controller Bill Thompson’s LGBT Business Owner of the Year. She received her Master’s degree in Voice from the Manhattan School of Music and later earned her second Master’s in Organizational Development from Fordham University. She has also authored several professional development books including Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace and The Will to Change and How to Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive.
Brown will kick off our annual Diversity & Inclusion Summit at 9 a.m. at the Greenville Convention Center. She is one of 11 speakers who will be presenting and workshopping with guests until the final keynote speech concludes at 5:30. Please check out our website, and if you would like to hear more about the summit and reserve your ticket here. We look forward to seeing you there!