This week, Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) announced that Dr. Jennifer Gomes has joined GS&P’s management team in the new role of head of equity, diversity and inclusion.
For nearly 20 years, Dr. Gomes has committed her career to addressing issues of social justice. She was most recently the founder and CEO of Positioned Inc., a company that developed, supported and empowered women of colour in leadership positions and partnered with leadership teams to actualise and operationalise their diversity, equity and inclusion commitments.
Dr. Gomes will work directly with GS&P president Derek Robson and be based at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. In her new role Dr. Gomes will develop a long-term strategy and road map to help increase representation, create a culture of belonging and contribution, and promote equity and fairness in everything GS&P does in both its San Francisco and New York City offices. She will collaborate with GS&P’s talent team on talent recruitment and development, as well as provide support to the company’s various Employee Resource Groups.
“At GS&P, we’re cultivating a place where people do their very best work—work that moves people and reshapes culture. To that end our staff and our work need to reflect the world around us,” said Derek Robson, partner and president at GS&P. “Dr. Gomes’s extensive experience designing and facilitating learning experiences in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion; organisational change; and leadership will be invaluable as she leads this effort.”
Dr. Gomes continued: “As a society we are on the precipice of change, and we are uniquely positioned to help facilitate change by what we create and promote in advertising. Therefore, we have a responsibility to define, demonstrate and be steadfast in our beliefs and values. There is a great need for systemic change in our nation, and I look forward to partnering with the leadership and employees of Goodby Silverstein & Partners to empower them and affect real change.”
Prior to founding Positioned Inc., Dr. Gomes was the senior director of strategic partnerships for the HotChalk and NYU Teacher Residency Program. Dr. Gomes has experience working in the nonprofit sector and extensive experience in teaching and leading at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She earned her EdD in organisational change and leadership from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles; her MEd and EdS from National Louis University in Chicago; and her BA from Scripps College in Claremont, California.
The issue of racism has been at the forefront of GS&P’s work in recent months. The agency introduced the 'Not a Gun' and 'Not a Crime' campaigns, created in partnership with Courageous Conversation Global Foundation, to raise awareness of the fact that black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people are. Employees at GS&P also created the 'Respond2Racism' movement to directly combat racism online and empower people by providing tools to address harassment in real life. As the inaugural project of that movement, the 'First Responder Twitter Bot' was created to address hate against Asians and Asian Americans, which has surged by 900% on Twitter since the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic. The bot automatically responds to Covid-19-incited racist tweets with videos to both educate the perpetrators and uplift Asian frontline workers.