Bobby Bryant has always had a love for marketing.
In high school, she was on the student council’s sport and spirit team, in charge of promoting the school. Though she went on to study fashion in college, she quickly returned to her first love. While a student at New York University, Bryant submitted her resume to the school’s job board and was contacted by WABC. She accepted a part-time job and, after graduation, turned down an offer from a well-known fashion brand to take a full-time position at the network.
“Marketing is my true passion,” Bryant said. “I love the ideation and execution—putting all the pieces together. Whether sports, fashion or entertainment, I want to dig into a company’s goals, to see what they want to achieve.”
Bryant is one of thousands of highly skilled, diverse job candidates who have signed up for the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s 365-days-a-year Virtual Hiring Platform, available through the PATHWAY app. The program is focusing on removing barriers to opportunity for professionals of color while helping businesses fill their pipelines with diverse talent.
While at ABC, Bryant quickly rose through the ranks, from coordinator to marketing and account executive, producer and marketing manager. When a VP position in the marketing department opened, Bryant applied, but her general manager said she needed sales experience. Bryant moved into a sales account executive role and was later promoted to senior sales account executive. But her plans to reapply for the marketing VP position got sidelined when Bryant’s husband accepted a new job in Dallas and the family moved out of New York.
After taking a couple of years off to help her three children transition to a new city, Bryant accepted a position as a national sales account executive at NBCUniversal. Now, after two years, Bryant is hoping to return to her true passion—marketing. She has significant experience working with large events and is ideally looking for a position as a director or VP of integrated marketing.
Despite her 20 years of experience at two major television networks, Bryant has struggled to make headway in her ongoing job search, submitting dozens of resumes without getting even a single response from a recruiter. While companies may genuinely want to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, it is often more difficult to implement through traditional hiring channels. That’s where the T.D. Jakes Foundation comes in—bringing companies access to highly vetted and experienced professionals from diverse backgrounds.
As a Black woman, Bryant knows better than anyone how important diversity is when connecting with clients and coworkers.
“I’ve had instances where buyers have said ‘If you take Bobby off the account, it will affect your share of business for my agency,’” said Bryant, noting that she was the only Black account executive during her time at ABC. “People want to work with companies where they see themselves reflected, especially if they’re qualified and do the job well.”
Bryant said she’s heartened to see the industry becoming more diverse, which is ultimately a benefit to both employers and candidates.
“Diversity is key to helping show that your company is well-rounded,” Bryant said. “A lot of business is relationship building, and there is a level of comfort that comes from working with people who understand their perspective and the nuances of their culture.”
To learn more about Bobby Bryant and her experience, visit her portfolio here.
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