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“Work is where we spend most of our time. And it’s where I think so much learning happens. It’s often where people are exposed to difference in a way that they’re not in their personal lives. We’ve got to work on global teams. We have to work with multiple nationalities. We have to figure out how to lead virtually without ever sitting in front of somebody physically. So we have to get really good at noticing and valuing diversity in all of its forms, and then being inclusive leaders. I think we’re a long way off from that. I’m trying to help corporate America specifically try to tell their story differently and prioritize diversity and inclusion as value that’s going to resonate with incoming talent. But I want them to walk the talk. I don’t want them to just use it as a marketing slogan. I want them to do the hard work which is the internal work in their culture. It’s really easy to buy your way on to lists and get awards and control the optics of the story on the outside. But the harder work and more valuable work is “what are we going to be about as a culture?” I think the role of leaders in setting that framework is really important. They have a huge platform they can use. Yet I find most are scared of it or don’t know what to say about it. They just let it go. And it’s a missed opportunity because people are hearing that as “I don’t matter.” Something is happening in their life that’s huge and their expected to come into work and deny it. That’s kind of the core of what we need to solve for.” – Jennifer Brown
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JENNIFER BROWN is an award-winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker and diversity and inclusion expert. She is the founder, president and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC), a strategic leadership and diversity consulting firm that coaches business leaders worldwide on critical issues of talent and workplace strategy. She’s also the author of Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace and the Will to Change.