Johanne Penney’s Mission for Inclusive Change – An Exclusive Interview

Johanne Penney: Championing Diversity and Inclusion

Johanne Penney founded Amp Up Your Voice to support diversity and inclusion.

This progressive anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy partners with modern and progressive brands and businesses on their journey to authentically diversify their organisations.

Johanne’s mission is to ensure inclusion and belonging in the workplace and be a true advocate for racial equity change.

Johanne’s journey to founding Amp Up Your Voice began when she experienced racial discrimination and lost her job in the healthcare sector in late 2019.

This experience catalyzed her to pivot her career and create positive change.

Recognising the need to help others facing similar challenges, Johanne embarked on the journey of building her consultancy.

From Focused Support to Broadening Horizons

Initially, Johanne’s focus was narrower, specifically aimed at supporting black women who faced discrimination and lacked support systems.

She understood firsthand the struggles and barriers that black women encounter in the workplace, and she wanted to provide them with the resources and advocacy they needed.

However, as Amp Up Your Voice evolved, Johanne’s vision expanded to encompass a broader approach to diversity and inclusion.

She recognised that the issues of racism and discrimination extend beyond black women and affect various marginalised communities.

Johanne’s consultancy now works with brands and businesses to develop long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies that foster an inclusive and supportive environment for all individuals.

Empowering Through Training and Mentorship

In addition to providing consultancy services, Johanne also delivers high-energy training, workshops, and events that educate and inspire change.

She is a public expert speaker and mentors organisations that are committed to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Johanne also coaches individuals who face systemic barriers to success and need support in navigating and advancing their careers.

Johanne Penney: A Positive Disruptor

As a positive disruptor, Johanne aims to challenge the status quo and drive real change.

She is also a culture writer and the author of the ebook “The Road to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” which serves as a guide for individuals and organisations seeking to take positive action and create inspirational change.

Johanne’s journey from experiencing racial discrimination to founding Amp Up Your Voice showcases her resilience, determination, and commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

Through her consultancy, she empowers brands and businesses to embrace diversity and inclusion, fostering environments where everyone feels valued, heard, and supported.

Johanne’s work is instrumental in driving the racial equity change movement and ensuring a more equitable future for all.

Motivation Behind the Mission

In the podcast, Johanne discusses her motivation for starting Amp Up Your Voice, a consultancy aimed at helping individuals navigate their careers and overcome systemic barriers, particularly black women.

She recognised a gap in the market for guidance and support in this area and felt compelled to use her senior executive experience and lived experience to assist others.

The turning point for Johanne and her business came in 2020 with the public murder of George Floyd.

This event sparked a renewed urgency and momentum in the fight against racial injustice, and Johanne found herself inundated with messages and inquiries from people seeking advice on how to address racism in their workplaces.

She saw an opportunity to leverage her expertise and build on this momentum to drive meaningful change in the corporate space.

Amp Up Your Voice primarily focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the corporate sector.

While the importance of these concepts is widely acknowledged, Johanne recognises the need to move beyond mere awareness and into practical, tangible actions.

She aims to help organisations translate their commitment to diversity and inclusion into meaningful strategies and initiatives that create lasting change.

Discrimination and Mistreatment in the Workplace

Discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace are pervasive issues that continue to affect individuals from marginalised communities.

Johanne’s personal experience, as shared in the podcast transcript, sheds light on the challenges faced by black employees and the impact they can have on their professional growth and well-being.

Johanne’s story begins with her being passed up for a promotion to a colleague who was not a high performer.

She acknowledges that she did not meet the criteria for the promotion, but what follows reveals a deeper issue within the company.

A couple of months later, Johanne took time off work due to her mother’s cancer and her son’s troubles.

Upon her return, the chief executive informed her that if she took any more time off, they wouldn’t have to pay her.

This treatment differed from her peers, who were given paid leave for various reasons.

The only differentiating factor was that Johanne was black.

This incident highlights the racial bias and discrimination that Johanne faced within the company.

It becomes even more evident when she compares her situation to that of a peer who had also taken a month off but did not face the same consequences.

The company attempted to introduce retrospective, long-term consequences to Johanne alone, further exacerbating the mistreatment she experienced.

addressing discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace

Johanne’s journey from experiencing discrimination to founding Amp Up Your Voice is a testament to her resilience, determination, and commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

Her consultancy is instrumental in driving the racial equity change movement and ensuring a more equitable future for all.

By amplifying marginalised voices, challenging systemic barriers, and providing guidance and support, Johanne is making a significant impact in the corporate world and beyond.

Her story serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace and working towards creating a more inclusive and equitable environment for all employees.

Learn More About Johanne and Amp Up Your Voice

Johanne Penney at The Croc – Amp Up Your Voice Event. Courtesy of Johanne Penney on LinkedIn

πŸ”— Download Johanne’s Book

πŸ”— Amp Up Your Voice Website

πŸ”— Amp Up Your Voice on Instagram

πŸ”— Amp Up Your Voice on X (FKA Twitter)

πŸ”— Johanne Penney on LinkedIn

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