Episode 5 - Navigating Race and Gender and the Need for Corporate Change with Orlena Nwokah Blanchard of JOY Collective

podcast Feb 26, 2021
Tracy Holland Interviews Orlena Nwokah Blanchard on Race, Gender and Corporate Change


Wearing multiple hats, from mother, to wife, to entrepreneur, Orlena Nwokah Blanchard has made an impact in business and beyond. As president and COO of the award-winning creative agency, Joy Collective, she uses her platform to reframe marketing strategy with an eye to cultural intelligence and sensitivity. Previously, she had served as the Executive Director of the Black Media Matters Consortium, a trade association founded to help advertisers optimize marketing to Black consumers.

A bilingual citizen of four countries, with a husband of 23 years and three children, Orlena provides us with a masterclass in big-picture, big-idea thinking, and in leveraging the intersection of her heritage, her family, her community, and her industry into a narrative that can truly change the world.



2:10 - Honoring her father

5:50 - The many hats a powerhouse wears

7:34 - The Joy Collective and being an entrepreneur

10:41 - Owning the mantle of “cultural experts”

15:20 - Being a black woman in a white male-dominated field

17:00 - Getting comfortable in being who you are

18:12 - Her mother as a role model

23:27 - On meeting her husband

29.28 - The change that happens when you have children

32:35 - How she came to the entrepreneurial path

34:50 - Health situation and how it impacted work

42:29 - 5 year vision

45:20 - Support resources (or Pod)

48:17 - Who her mentors are



5:45 - “I think it’s important for us to think about how others see us versus how we see ourselves.”

13:04 - “Black people live an incredibly racialized experience in this country - and if you are a brand or a company trying to reach a black consumer, you cannot ignore that fact.”

15:44 - “This idea that we have to conform to be more like men, to be effective, to be heard, to be successful… I think is bullsh!t.”

29:57 - “I don’t feel like, as women, we should be diminished or undervalued in any way, because frankly, we can do it all, we do it all - we’ve been doing it all for centuries.”

34:22 - “I wanted to work hard and use my gifts and my talent, and my intellect, to do something that made me, my family, and my community better.”

45:49 - “It’s easier to start a business, than it is to grow, and maintain, and sustain a business.”

53:24 - “I have to remind myself - I’ve earned it - and I deserve to be here.”



Find out more about Orlena on Instagram and Twitter. Joy Collective is also on Instagram and Twitter.

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