Everyday Lead CEO Jeannine K. Brown is working to not only boost corporate employees’ moral, but she is also making sure businesses truly understand the value of diversity.
While attending an event with the NABA Twin Cities chapter in Minnesota, rolling out caught up with Brown to learn how diversity can make or break a business.
What is the brand and mission of Everyday Lead?
Everyday Lead is a consulting firm. We work with companies to enhance the performance and productivity of their employees. We focus on a variety of areas; diversity and inclusion, women, strategy, and innovation, as well as performance and productivity.
In today’s environment, how important are diversity and inclusion?
It’s imperative for business. When we look at the growth, and what some people [refer to] the “browning of America,” combined with global competition, and technology, it’s imperative for companies to be focused in this area. I like to use the term “the inclusion of diversity.” It’s important for us to focus on how do we create better products and services for our clients. It’s been proven the more diverse your teams are, of age, gender, race and culture, the better innovation and products can be produced by the company.
What brought you to Minneapolis?
I was invited by the NABA Twins Cities chapter. Our mission and goal for today were to just have a candid conversation around retention, as it pertains to diversity inclusion. We want to know how [to] help companies retain their employees and how [to] measure the engagement of those employees. I think we exceeded those expectations. The conversation was open and genuine. We had a variety of different people speak — from executives to first-year associates. What I learned leaving here is this is important in this business community here in the Twin Cities. I’m glad to know they’re focused on it. Some have been doing it for years, while it is new to other companies. Having the conversation and the diversity in this room shows that its important to everyone.
Was there a moment when you realized someone truly understood the message?
We had a young lady, an attorney, who shared her story. When she talked about relationship in this space, I think she brought in our closing message. Another young professional at U.S Bank talked about [how] having relationships that don’t look like her as a young Black woman makes a more rich experience for her. If it’s grown organically, and you can tell there are specific interests in me as a person, that’s what we’re looking for. Be concerned for me as an individual. Be concerned about Jeannine as a person and don’t expect me to represent the entire community of women or Black people. I think that was the message that resonated with everyone.
How important is technology to your business?
It’s essential. I’m primarily in the financial [and] accounting space. I tell students who are pursuing degrees in accounting if you do not get a complementary degree, even if it’s an associate’s, with a technology component, you’re putting yourself behind. The automation of even some of the entry-level functions is going to eliminate the need for new candidates. Automation is going to change the game. You can’t do anything without technology.
What are you doing to bring in more people of color into companies?
One of the primary things I do is express to our clients the importance of hiring from historically Black colleges and tapping into those schools. That’s where they’re getting the talent. On the consulting side, [we partner] with those companies to figure out how to create the right programs for recruitment and then retention.