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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Apr 14, 2022

Jennifer Brown of Jennifer Brown Consulting based out of New York, NY

Jennifer Brown founded her namesake Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consulting agency 20 years ago. The agency develops top-down DEI strategies and training programs for medium-size to large companies; sets up effective, well-aligned affinity groups within those companies; and promotes inclusive leadership through educational initiatives.

Jennifer is a frequent keynote speaker, both virtually and live. She presented Beyond Diversity: Building A More Inclusive World at the 2022 South by Southwest Conference and followed that with a book signing of her third book, Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways to Build a More Inclusive World, which she co-authored with Rohit Bhargava. Jennifer is the bestselling author of Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will to Change (2017) and How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive (2019). The second edition of the 2019 book will be released in October 2022.

Jennifer says there was “a huge wake-up call in spring/summer of 2020” after the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent and still-ongoing social movement for cultural change. Jennifer feels that today’s workplace is “not built by and for so many of us if we . . . don’t fit a certain demographic.”

Jennifer explains the importance of this “sea change”: “If people feel welcomed, valued, respected, and heard, and a deep sense of belonging and being treated equitably . . . they do better work . . . and they stay longer.”

Jennifer says she is a “member of the LGBTQ+ community” who has “been out for nearly 25 years.” She believes half of her cohorts “are still closeted in the workplace,” but that, finally, people are no longer talking about “why” inclusion is important, but “how” to make it happen. She believes companies will be challenged in setting up equitable workplaces as they rebuild “post-Covid,” particularly with managing blended teams of hybrid (virtual and in-person) employees. 

Jennifer warns that managers need to be vigilant in supportinging inclusivity. “Harassment has gone up in the virtual workplace,” she says. Why? “There are no witnesses,” she explains. People are “cut off from information” and don’t know their options on how to escalate a complaint and whether they can trust their employer to handle the issue.

Jennifer Brown Consulting facilitates the establishment of corporate affinity groups, which are often comprised of people who tend to be “overlooked in the talent pipeline because of bias” in hiring practice, promotion, advancement, and talent reviews.” Even smaller and medium-sized companies are adopting affinity groups to serve as workplace “sources of intelligence about cultural experience,” tap into what is working and what is not, and provide support and “community” to employees who may have, in the past, felt “marginalized.”

Jennifer can be reached on Instagram, @JenniferBrownSpeaks; on Twitter, @JenniferBrown, on LinkedIn, and on her agency website at:, where those interested in DEI information can find the agency’s DEI foundations program.

ROB: Welcome to the Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Kischuk. I am joined live at South by Southwest by Jennifer Brown of Jennifer Brown Consulting based out of New York, New York. Welcome to the podcast, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Thank you, Rob.

ROB: So good to have you on here. Why don’t you start out by telling us about the firm, about Jennifer Brown Consulting? What is your calling card?

JENNIFER: The firm I founded 20 years ago. It’s a DEI strategy and training company. We work with companies, medium-size and large typically, to help them build their diversity, equity, & inclusion strategy from the top down and help also set up what’s called affinity groups and make sure they’re effective and well-aligned. We also do a lot of education around inclusive leadership.

I have an amazing group of consultants who are, at any given time, working on client projects. And then I do a lot of keynoting – virtual, but now increasingly in person, I’m glad to say . . . as we come out of this into a new variant, I just read yesterday. [laughs]

ROB: Last night, yes.

JENNIFER: But anyway, I also love writing books. I just co-authored my third book with Rohit Bhargava, Beyond Diversity, and then I have a second edition of How to Be an Inclusive Leader, which was my book from 2019. I have a second edition of that coming out in October of 2022, which I’m really excited about.

ROB: Congratulations on the book. Rohit was a guest three years ago, the last time we were recording live at SXSW, and then we all skipped a couple of years because of that COVID thing we were just talking about.

As you’re engaging with these firms – you mentioned medium and larger firms – at what point are they coming to you these days? What do they know? What are they doing right? What are the blind spots?

JENNIFER: There was a huge wake-up call in spring/summer of 2020 on multiple levels. I think the big one for us, obviously, was George Floyd murder and the social movement that occurred and is still occurring. A massive shift in attention and prioritization of the fact that the workplace as it is currently is not built by and for so many of us, if we basically don’t fit a certain demographic.

Finally – we’ve been talking about this for many, many years – finally there was attention and resources available. For the last couple of years, our firm has doubled in size and number of companies, and we’ve been incredibly busy. We were ready for this. This is the conversation we’ve been having for many years. I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and I’ve been out for nearly 25 years – I’m dating myself.

ROB: Early.

JENNIFER: Early, early, when we were still arguing for domestic partner benefits with big companies. Those were the early days of my own activism. Then we grew Jennifer Brown Consulting to be a full-service DEI firm.

So, they come to us now and say, “Okay, Jennifer, we get it. We know that it’s important. But we don’t know how to tackle this, and we don’t know how to equip our leaders with the skills and also to awaken their motivation to care about this.” But really, Rob, I’m so excited that it’s not a “why” conversation; it’s a “how” conversation now. We all are a little bit worried that the urgency is flagging as the world continues to be so chaotic and business priorities shift around, so we’re trying to really make sure the burning platform of this remains on fire in people’s minds. We know it’s on fire, but it’s easy to move on and say, “We got this. We’re doing enough.” But I can tell you no company is doing enough.

ROB: Right. You have two lanes. A lot of companies are going to install somebody with a title in DEI at some level, and then there’s actually integrating it into the cadence of the firm. How do you make sure it sticks? How do you keep it from regressing to “business as usual” plus somebody with a title?

JENNIFER: I think the way we speak about why this is urgent really matters, and how it can drive business. It drives innovation. Literally, if people feel welcomed, valued, respected, and heard, and a deep sense of belonging and being treated equitably – which means those day-to-day support mechanisms, resources, pay equity, all that good stuff – they do better work. And they stay longer.

We’re in the midst of a talent crisis. Literally, it is the Great Resignation, and I can tell you from my point of view, it has a lot of reasons, but one of the big reasons is toxic workplaces – workplaces that feel like “I go through my day and I don’t see anyone that looks like me. I don’t feel trusted or trusting of others. I have one foot out the door for something better.” So, culture can be a differentiator, and belonging can and should be a differentiator to keep great talent.

But I can tell you, the workplace needs to be overhauled to be a welcoming place for so many of us. I mean, just LGBT people, half of us are still closeted in the workplace. That is a statistic from 2019. And even in the virtual world, I wonder how it’s changed; I don’t know. But we are not bringing our full selves to work. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the identities that aren’t bringing their full selves.

ROB: For sure. There’s part of me that says, what company wouldn’t be welcoming in some way? But that’s the tip of the spear of the question, I am sure.

You mentioned even the structure of the workplace. As we’re resetting and coming back and a lot of companies have been virtual, what opportunities to set up an equitable workplace can companies do as they’re rebuilding what it means to be in an office from scratch, what their work expectations are from scratch? What are the opportunity points? What can they do today that would’ve been hard for them to do two, three years ago, and now it’s like “No, don’t do this again when you come back”?

JENNIFER: Well, let’s see. So many things. We went to an open office plan for a while. That was the thing. But now data has shown that actually, that’s really hard for people to be productive in. Also, the physical office was not a comfortable place. So, virtualizing ourselves actually opened up a sense of safety for a lot of people who found the physical workplace unsafe.

I think we have to carry that with us and remember that that is a critical thing to leverage. But then new diversity dimensions are opening up, like who’s on site? Who’s able to get face time? Who’s able to get on somebody’s calendar or bump into somebody? There’s the haves and have-nots that’s opened up. In some companies, the virtual employees are the haves, actually, that are getting the flexible arrangement, and then the people who have to come into the office – but you can actually see it in the reverse, who has access to leadership. If leadership’s in the office, that could benefit you.

It really depends on the company. I tell managers, we have to up our inclusivity vigilance. When we are managing blended teams, hybrid and in-person, we’ve got to ensure inclusion constantly and be checking in with people who are virtual because we may not know they are on the bubble in terms of their own engagement and loyalty. And what we don’t know can really hurt us, and often when it comes to diversity dimensions, what you don’t know can make the difference between keeping that person and having them leave and being surprised.

So virtually, we just have to be checking in, asking how people are. The most powerful question is something like “Do you feel included and valued in the way that we’re working right now? Is this working for you? Do you feel you can thrive? Do you feel there are barriers? What can I do as your colleague, as your leader, as your manager, to address any barriers that you’re experiencing so that you can do your best work?

I think asking that often will build the trust and tell us what we need to know so we can architect a better situation for people.

ROB: This is the second conversation I’ve had this week where what you’re describing sounds like being a good manager.

JENNIFER: Doesn’t it? Strange, that. [laughs]

ROB: It doesn’t sound like anything to do in some ways with particular topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, while at the same time I think what’s underpinning there is there’s an assumption of commonality that allows people to get by without managing well. Is that fair to say?

JENNIFER: Yes, fair to say. Intersectionality speaks to all the different diversity dimensions that live in a human being. And there’s multiple things going on. I’m a parent. I identify as queer. I’m caregiving. I’m wrestling with mental health challenges. I’m Latinx. All of those things have an impact on our belonging. In most organizations, there’s some angst and some difficulty there because, like I said earlier, workplaces are biased. Period.

Any one of those things or a combination of those things may be going on for someone. They may be hearing microaggressions. They may be being harassed virtually. Unfortunately, I hate to say this – harassment has gone up in the virtual workplace.

ROB: Wow.

JENNIFER: There are no witnesses. Think about this. There’s a lack of understanding of how to escalate a complaint and whether you trust your company enough to handle the complaint. When we virtualize employees, they’re cut off from information, often, that may have been available and they would’ve known what sort of avenues exist. I found this harassment data really disturbing, honestly.

Anyway, there’s a lot of risks. Like I said, as a manager and a leader, to have somebody’s identities in mind and be able to anticipate, “What’s going on for this person? How can I get them to trust me enough to share with me so that I can help?” – and even if that means suggesting that somebody go to HR, suggesting that somebody seek out the EAP for mental health support. I mean, just connecting the dots is so much of our job these days, and it’s been made more difficult when we’re out of the loop with each other. That’s a dangerous place to be.

ROB: Absolutely. You mentioned affinity groups as a key component. What does that look like, building from scratch? How do you get from zero to something there?

JENNIFER: It’s funny; back in the day, only large companies had affinity groups, and they’re like the LGBT Network, the Women’s Network, the Black Network, the Asian-American Network, Disabilities, Veterans. In big companies, there’s a lot. But since two years ago and everything crescendoing, even the smaller and medium-size companies now have affinity groups, and they understand that these groups are literally sources of intelligence about cultural experience in our workplace – what’s going well, what’s going wrong, what needs to be supported, resourced, which talent exists. Sometimes people in affinity groups are the ones that are overlooked in the talent pipeline because of bias in our hiring, promotion, advancement, talent reviews.

So, affinity groups are really important mechanisms to enable people to find community, especially virtually, to share what’s going on and not feel so alone, to strategize about how to be heard in a workplace that is maybe not conscious of its own bias, and then also provide that identity intelligence to the employer to say, “Hey, this community is feeling this now.”

For example, Stop Asian Hate wasn’t just in 2020. It’s actually been increasing and getting worse over this last year and the year before. And yet employers aren’t prioritizing it. If it weren’t for the affinity groups that are keeping it top of mind and saying, “Hey, this is a problem” – our employees are bringing this into the workplace every day and walking around with this, if they’re commuting or in their communities or in their families. People are afraid, and they expect their employer to address it and to know that it’s happening and to say, “What can we, the employer, do to support you, to raise awareness, and to make a statement?”

Honestly, employers also, by the way, need to be making statements about a variety of social issues right now. Otherwise, silence – look what happened to Disney not saying anything about the Don’t Say Gay activities in Florida. Their employees have been so upset and writing letters to the CEO and agitating, and finally the CEO wrote a memo and it just broke yesterday on Twitter. But it took a long time, and it shouldn’t take a long time. Companies should have their employees’ backs. Period.

ROB: And then it’s even harder when you do actually say something – the rubric against which it is measured at that point is so much harder.

JENNIFER: Oh yeah. There’s a lot of issues, granted. But this is the world we live in. Certainly, I hear from leaders, “Jennifer, where does it stop?” I’m like, “This is your new normal. It doesn’t stop. But by the way, this is an opportunity to connect with your employees on a deep” – when I feel seen and heard and valued, this is what it means. If my CEO is silent on a harmful bill to me and my community, I am out the door. I can’t describe – it’s like a visceral thing. Like “I can’t work here anymore. This company doesn’t see me, doesn’t care about what’s happening to people that identify like I do.”

Employees are finding their voice in a way that I have been waiting for for a really long time. So really, the problem is leadership is really behind. They don’t have the competency. They’re not able to pivot quickly. They’re like, “I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.” I’m like, no, this needs to be your new leadership skill. You have to be able to know, to be scanning your environment all the time and saying “What do I need to make sure our employees know that we’re not okay with?” That needs to be the first thing you wake up thinking about every day.

ROB: This sounds like it ties into some of the dimensions of the book, so let’s go over that direction for a moment. Talk about the book, how it came to be – the book is Beyond Diversity with you and Rohid. How did this happen, and what should we know about it? You had a session here talking about the book. What should people know?

JENNIFER: Yeah, we did. It was so great. It came out of a five-day Beyond Diversity Summit, literally, with 200 speakers. Rohid approached me. I was one of those folks part of organizing it, and he’s like, “This needs to be a book.” I was like, “Oh no, 200 speakers, hours and hours of footage. How do we boil this down into a book? It’s terrifying. My team will never forgive me.” However, we said yes, let’s do it.

We organized all of this footage into 12 themes, and those are the chapters. They’re not identity themes. We could’ve gone that way. We could’ve done “This is the chapter on LGBTQ+. This is the chapter on Asian-Americans and AAPI folks.” Instead, we did education, media, workplace, storytelling, government, family. It was so cool to take all of that wisdom from a wide array of diverse storytellers in every way and figure out, where do we tell this story, that story, that story?

I loved the challenge of that. I think also, “beyond diversity” to me perhaps means, yes, identity diversity, but let’s look at how this plays out in these domains of life that really touch our lives every single day. We can all relate to education. We can all relate to what’s happening in media. I hope the book reaches people who have dismissed this topic maybe in the past, but they pick it up and they’re like, “Oh, this book makes sense to me. This is relevant to my life holistically.” And it’s such a positive book. It’s not a “shame and blame” book. It is full of celebrations of where innovation is occurring and how exciting it is and how it’s going to better our world.

I think it’s a really different kind of book, and I hope it finds all kinds of audiences. I think it should be in curriculum in schools. Professors should be assigning it. My parents, in their eighties, tell me it’s the best book I’ve ever written. They love it. They’re reading it and they’re able to understand it.

ROB: It is very, very approachable in the structure. It’s just made so that you can come in, engage with it at whatever depth you want to – not that you want to treat it like a dictionary and shop by topic, or an encyclopedia, but there is that ability. There’s skimmability. There’s summary. But that facilitates approaching it easily, but also the education context. You open it up, and it’s credible – this book was made by people who were making a business book, not just like “my opinion and here you go.” It wasn’t a memoir.

JENNIFER: Yes, exactly. We actually really intentionally decentered ourselves. Even though we were writing the book, we gathered this big writing team also. So all of their hands are on the writing. And then we hired also inclusivity readers, otherwise known as sensitivity readers, because Rohit and I and the other writers knew we would still not perceive the correct language, for example. They went through the book and gave us tons of feedback. It was just a wonderful learning experience.

But the book literally is all about different storytellers – unusual, unexpected, nonobvious storytellers. I hear myself talk all day, but I want their voice to be out there, and I think we were both in service of that.

ROB: It is excellent. You get in deep, and then there’s the contributor list – obviously voluminous, for sure.


ROB: Jennifer, let’s rewind a little bit. Let’s talk about where Jennifer Brown Consulting came from. What made you decide that you should not have a job with somebody else and you should build something, and who knows where it goes? Especially with the past couple of years with that growth now. But where did it start?

JENNIFER: It started because being in the LGBTQ+ community in my early days, really way back, I was an opera singer.

ROB: Wow.

JENNIFER: I came to New York to make it, and then my voice kept getting injured and I had to get vocal surgery several times to repair it, but it would never – I realized my instrument just wouldn’t ever do what it needed to do, and I would have to reinvent.

I found my way to – I like to think of it now as a different stage, literally. I’m a keynoter now. I’m able to use my love of the stage – which I’ve been on stage since I was five; I grew up in a really musical family, and we are like the Von Trapp Family Singers. [laughs]

ROB: Yeah, it came to my mind as soon as you said it. [laughs]

JENNIFER: I was that kid. So I seek the stage. I love it. I crave it. I enjoy it. I’m comfortable on it. I think it’s the best medium for me. Anyway, though, as a closeted person who was trying to find my voice, I found in those early days all of these amazing companies in New York – IBM, Deloitte, Proctor and Gamble – I didn’t even know this world existed, but it was the world of corporations that were leading-edge in terms of LGBTQ equality. They were all starting to vie for us as talent and then also trying to vie for us as customers.

I had a front seat years ago on those early battles for domestic partner benefits, for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the non-discrimination policies and the language of the company. Their statements used to not include that. I hope people are hearing this and being like, “Wow, I’ve always taken that for granted, and I didn’t know there was a time that wasn’t there.” But I can tell you, there was a time.

And those were really exciting days. I feel like I cut my teeth on – the way that LGBTQ employees shifted companies was super powerful for me to see and be a part of because I think it clicked that I could be a voice for change, and that change would actually happen in this massive entity with just my voice, or just the voice of a community. We were very strategic in the way we approached it. We argued the case around talent retention and recruitment. We argued the business case for customers.

It trained me to think about how large institutions change and why they change, and because of what, and how to be an irritant in the system but to be strategic and grounded in their “care abouts” where it’s a win-win. That is something I’ve carried with me as we built Jennifer Brown Consulting, and I would subsequently leave corporate America. I was an employee, like you say, and I was like, “This is not creative enough for me. I don’t have enough agency. I can’t have a boss. I have to start my own firm.”

Very quickly, when I put my shingle out – I’m kind of a natural marketer – it became much bigger than I could manage. I started to hire people. I started to send people in instead of me and started to scale my company. In fact, one of my first hires was a COO, and I really dug deep to pay somebody six figures to build my entire backend because I knew – I was like, I don’t know how to do this. And I don’t want to. I need to be out there, doing what I do best in my zone of genius, which was evangelizing for the idea of the firm and also putting forth not just me, but all these talented consultants that I was able to attract and send in on our behalf to the clients that I had procured.

It worked really well. I always felt it was important to work on the business, not in the business. So from the very beginning days, I was like, how does this scale? And then how do I find my way into my best role? And I’m there now.

ROB: How many people did you have when you hired your COO, and were they somebody that had done that job before?

JENNIFER: Like three people. And yes, they had scaled my friend’s firm, a marketing agency. They had allowed her and enabled her to focus on the creative. Founders are often not the backend people. We’re the salespeople. We get the attention. We know how to do that.

So, he had done that, and I took the plunge and said, “Please, get everybody paid on time. Do job descriptions. Help me figure out who’s my first, second, and third hire. Who should that be? Help me run my finances responsibility. Get us a bookkeeper and do QuickBooks and set up…” – whatever, there’s just so much you have to think about. I never regretted it. Subsequently, I’ve gone through four or five COOs over 20 years.

ROB: But the role is necessary.

JENNIFER: Yep, and I really recommend it. If you think you’ve got a tiger by the tail, like I thought I did – and I had no idea what that really would feel like until 2020 – but up until that time, I was evangelizing this idea that belonging is important for all of these dimensions. Better products, better services, better customer relationships, better design. More retention.

Losing people is so expensive for companies, and they don’t see it as that. It’s sort of this invisible cost of attrition. I mean, now they know. But I think it’s been happening for years because many of us have been bailing out and becoming entrepreneurs because we literally were like, “I can’t stand another day here.” Anyway, it’s a big wakeup call and I’m here for it.

ROB: Absolutely. I hear you on the COO side. Our sixth employee was an operations role, and she’s moved up to COO. It was terrifying. I started off thinking I wanted just a junior project manager / order-taker / “do stuff for me,” and then I was persuaded by some advisors to spend the money. But it was terrifying.

JENNIFER: How’s she doing and feeling?

ROB: She’s moved up. It’s great. It’s a relief because I’m out here talking to people, and things still happen back home on the home front.

JENNIFER: I want to share – maybe this will be interesting for your audience – my name is on the name of the consulting business, right? It’s Jennifer Brown Consulting. We refer to ourselves as JBC. But we have transcended that question I always get, which is “Don’t people expect you?” They don’t, actually. They know about me, but they don’t expect me to be on the calls. We’ve scaled ourselves to such a level that the team is completely empowered and completely the star of the show, and I’m not involved unless there’s a keynote that’s needed and wanted or an executive session. I’m off writing the books that hopefully draw attention to us.

It’s just an interesting thing I know founders wrestle with and thought leader-driven brands. It’s this interesting question that always comes up. But I think we’ve done it really well. I think the secret is it’s always been my plan and it’s always been my expectation. I have said very clearly, it’s not about me. I’m not even the most practiced expert in my company, and I never have been.

My consultants are incredible, and they will solve problems differently than I will in any client engagement. They are bringing their own 30 years of looking at these things, and they have different identities than I do, and they have that lived experience that they can bring. So, it’s worked really well, and it’s enabled me to pull out of the day to day and speak and write, which I do think is what I have been, all these years, preparing to do.

ROB: Was it easier or harder, those first couple of engagements when you were tagging someone else in?

JENNIFER: I remember. If I’m on the phone, if I’m involved, how can somebody feel that they’re in charge of the gig? The client is always going to be looking to me as the authority, and I don’t want to be looked at as the authority. I had to be really careful in the early days of this transition of what I was a part of – that they even met me. I minimized that. [laughs] I was like, “Nope, you don’t need to talk to me. Thanks for the inquiry. I’m introducing you right away to my team. They will take care of you.”

We still actually do this because stuff still finds its way to me. But we’re very strict, and we have protocols that we follow. I never break those because it’s super important for me that my team can take care of whatever you need. I’m almost like a consultant now. The team is in charge and knows what to bring me and when that’s needed. Also, for me and my wants and needs, I don’t want to be in the day-to-day client work anymore, and I haven’t wanted to be for many years. That’s not what brings me fulfillment.

So, I think for founders, commit to and dig deep to seek – know what you don’t want to do, but what you want your firm to still do. That’s so important. Just pay attention to that and then dig deep financially and wherever else you have to dig to staff around the work you want the group to do as a delivery but is not work you directly want to be involved in. And then make sure you’re not sending mixed messages and that you’re truly empowering the people you’ve hired to go and be brilliant.

ROB: I hear you talking about handing over two separate sets of responsibilities at least, which are doubly nerve-wracking. You’re talking about handing over the delivery of the work, but you’re also talking about handing over the selling of the work.

JENNIFER: Yeah. We’re interesting because our folks don’t do business development. I have been in the space for so long that our amazing marketing team who helps me get the word out – we provide so much value. We have so many opportunities to read our thought leadership, join our calls, be a part of our JBC community, that we get a lot of inbound.

One of the things I’ve learned is you cannot force people to be salespeople if that is not what they do. I understood my role very early on. I’m here to build the house that people can live in and make sure the bills are paid and whatever, taking care of the container and making sure there’s enough opportunity coming in for people to focus on being the subject matter expert and delivering the work and taking care of the relationship.

We have a sales team, but they field a lot. They really more operate as “Now we have an opportunity; what is the scope? What is the statement of work? How do we price it? Who do we put on it? What’s the team going to be that delivers it?” That is what happens after we receive an interest or a lead. It was the way I got around sales, honestly, because the only kind of sales I’m really comfortable with is this back-door way of putting myself in conversations, adding value, moderating panels endlessly – which is what I did for years, just going to conferences and being in the room, speaking up and offering to be helpful.

And over time, now it’s like, “We’ve wanted to work with you and your team for years. We finally have the budget!” But years and years and years of people watching us grow, and now it’s amazing to get these calls from people that saw me speak 10 years ago or were in the room. 

ROB: You can’t be transactional about that. That’s playing the long game.

JENNIFER: It’s reputation, it’s trust, and it’s generosity. We’ve been so, so generous. That’s my MO. I see myself as part of the field. I think of it as we are a field of practitioners, and even if we’re competitors, we’re not. We all stay in touch with each other. When we hang out, other heads of firms, it’s like this amazing, really rich conversation because it’s a moment. This is purpose work. And people will find the firms that they feel the most comfort with for what they need. But honestly, it’s co-opetition. I’ve heard that word, and I think that really speaks to that, at the end of the day, we’re part of a movement and advocacy and whoever does the work, we deeply care that the work is done.

ROB: Absolutely. I can see clearly that you deeply care and you have a team that does. Jennifer, when people want to find you and JBC, where should they go to find you?

JENNIFER: Thanks for asking. Amazon has all my books, and then on Instagram, I’m @JenniferBrownSpeaks. I’m on LinkedIn. Twitter, I’m @JenniferBrown. Yes, I was on Twitter many, many, many years ago.

ROB: Well played.

JENNIFER: Well played. [laughs] And then is our website. I just want to say if you’re a new practitioner or an aspiring DEI professional, you should really check out our online courses. We’re building our foundations program and rolling that out. It’s just a wonderful six-week “get yourself grounded and work on your personal diversity story.”

ROB: That even scales down to some people who maybe aren’t midmarket enough to pay for you. Excellent.

JENNIFER: Exactly. You understand.

ROB: I do understand.

JENNIFER: Thank you.

ROB: Jennifer, thank you so much for meeting up and coming on the podcast and helping us learn well in your expertise.

JENNIFER: It’s a pleasure.

ROB: Thank you for listening. The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast is presented by Converge. Converge helps digital marketing agencies and brands automate their reporting so they can be more profitable, accurate, and responsive. To learn more about how Converge can automate your marketing reporting, email, or visit us on the web at