Most lesbians in the workforce don’t realize we have a secret superhero working to make our lives a billion times easier.
I’m talking about Jennifer Brown – And what’s so interesting about her is the trick maneuver that she pulls on unsuspecting homophobic corporate types all over the country.
What Jennifer does around the country is she gets up on stage in front of huge crowds of powerful conservative white men…
(And it’s easy for Jennifer to make conservative white guys comfortable and attentive because she looks exactly the way old conservative white men expect and want women to look… she’s a beautiful, super-femme blonde barbie doll who would be played by Kristen Bell or Reese Witherspoon if we made a movie about her.)
So when Jennifer gets on stage the powerful cis-gendered men let their guard down because they're all happy to see her…
And then she tells them she’s a lesbian…
Jennifer’s strategy is to use her privilege (that comes from her looks) as a way to win the trust and attention of people in power who aren’t paying attention to the needs of lesbians (and all other marginalized people) in the workforce.
She blows their mind by coming out unexpectedly, and then she uses that shock as a way to wake them up and break down stereotypes and expose the many layers of insensitivity that people of privilege don’t always realize we have.
So that’s why Jennifer Brown is so amazing. She’s a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion and for the betterment of work conditions for all LGBTQ individuals. She is single-handedly changing lives for all lesbians in the workforce.
I think a huge part of how much LGBT lifestyles and lesbians in the workforce are accepted in any given culture is a function of how visible and integrated LGBT people are throughout the culture.
In recent years being “out” has gotten so much easier the United States, where, according to polling, the majority of the population supports gay marriage, for example. And I’m convinced that this is largely because of how many LGBT characters we’ve seen all over popular film and television over the past 10 years.
When I first came out there were no “popular” movies or shows with lesbian characters.
But now there are tons.
And they’re being portrayed by some of the most famous actresses in the world. Julianne Moore with Anette Benning playing a happy couple in The Kids Are Alright… Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman ripping each others’ clothes off in a sex scene in Black Swan… Cate Blanchett in Carol… (just to name a few).
Not only are lesbian characters more fun for women like us to watch… but they help normalize our community in the awareness of the general population. And they’re really starting to get used to having us around…
And that’s the role Jennifer Brown sneaks in to play for lesbians in the workforce. She’s the one walking in and breaking down those walls for us and for all LGBTQ individuals.
And in this interview we get to hear all about what it’s like to play that role on behalf of our community.
During this interview Jennifer Brown shares:
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. Brown is a passionate advocate for social equality who delves into the “business case for diversity” as she helps businesses foster healthier, more productive workplace cultures.
With over a decade of experience consulting to Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, Starbucks, and Capital One, Brown is a highly sought-after expert source on changing demographics, specific communities of identity including women, people of color, LGBT individuals, generations like Millennials, and the role of male leaders in change efforts.
Brown has appeared in leading media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal, and on Fox News. In the past several years, she has been named Social Entrepreneur of the year by the NYC National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), a finalist for the Wells Fargo Business Owner of the Year Award, a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Winning Women Program, one of the Top 40 Outstanding Women by Stonewall Community Foundation, and NYC Controller Bill Thompson’s LGBT Business Owner of the Year.
Brown’s book Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change (Publish Your Purpose Press, 2017) inspires leadership to embrace the opportunity that diversity represents and empower advocates at all levels to find their voice and be a driving force in creating more enlightened organizations that resonate in a fast-changing world.
LinkedIn and Facebook: jenniferbrownconsulting
Podcast: The Will To Change