Jenn is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has received several certifications in Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion including her Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR), Certified Diversity Practitioner (CDP), and Certified Diversity Executive (CDE). She is also a Certified DiSC Instructor
When she was in her senior year in High School that she realized that she was “different.” She shares, “In an advanced Biology class, I was the only black student. I didn’t even understand, at that time, why I felt so out of place.” The experience of being separate from the mainstream increased when she attended VA Tech to study Business Management. “As part of the tiny 4% of people of color (out of 26,000 students), I began to understand what it meant to experience culture shock. My eyes opened, for the first time, to inequities in education background and preparedness.” In her early jobs- as a corporate trainer in Virginia followed by an HR position with the railroad industry in Norfolk- she encountered prejudice in the workplace. Her experiences paved the way for her work in diversity.
Jennifer gained vast industry experience as a Recruiting Thought Leader, Diversity Practitioner, and Career Success Coach with over 14 years of experience in the field of human resources and recruiting. She has recruited in the tech, healthcare, education, railroad, plumbing supplies, and professional services industries.
Jenn’s #CareerSuccess coaching programs for job seekers and #HiringSuccess diversity training programs for recruiters, further promote her mission. She is an official partner of LinkedIn and The Society for Diversity where she serves as a career coach to its members.
Jennifer is also co-owner of Proving What’s Possible, LLC (PWP), headquartered in Altavista, VA. PWP is a Mental Health Counseling organization that provides mental health skill-building services to help individuals cope with mental illness and achieve community stability and independence.
In 2013, she published a book, Letters to My Girlfriends: 365 Days of Pure Inspiration and in February 2022, Jennifer Tardy Consulting published the LEQ – Lived Experience Intelligence Report.
On the personal front, Jennifer resides in Maryland with her two boys, Austin and Aiden.
Jenn describes herself as a “servant Leader”. “I like to share my vision with the team and give them the space to build the vision. She believes that if one enters interactions with others believing that their intention was positive, no matter the outcome.” Entering interactions in this manner helps to communicate better and thinking about one’s intention before, during, and after acting is a true game changer.
“I also have a mindset of “how can I?” versus “I can’t” and I work hard to instill that mindset into those around me…I live with an attitude that with the right kind and amount of support, the sky is truly the limit for what we can do and accomplish.”
Jenn believes that growing as a leader means continuous learning. “Years ago, I would read generic business and personal development books. Today, I read specialty books about specific aspects of marketing or sales, or customer relationship books. I also go to conferences that focus on these topics,” she shares
Women in Workplaces
“I am always thinking about how we can close the gap in access to opportunity. Not just access focused on getting into an organization, but also access to promotions. As a matter of fact, a recent McKinsey study found that only 87 women for every 100 men are promoted from entry-level to managers’ positions.”
As a woman, Jenn has learned that finding and using her voice is important for her work as well as to inspire and encourage other women who are trying to find and use their voices. “Not everyone will invite you to have a seat at the table, so learning to navigate your way into the room and to the table is a key leadership skill necessary for women, especially women of color,” she states.
As a woman leader, she has brought a unique perceptive to the workplace by infusing two impactful ideas into the diversity recruiting industry. The first is creating a model that allows JTC to work with organizations to increase diversity without harm. The Second is to promote Lived Experience Intelligence with employers to empower employees to opt into using their LEI and for leaders to tap into it.
Luck or Hard Work?
Like the Roman philosopher Seneca, Jenn feels that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. She states, “Our team has worked tirelessly to prepare for the wonderful opportunities that we are benefactors to today. I cannot, however, deny the synchronicity and alignment of people, places, and resources that I never expected, but have experienced along the way, especially with how wonderfully engaged and committed our Increase Diversity community remains. It feels like more than luck. It feels like a blessing.”