With her extensive knowledge of workforce technology and change management within the staffing industry, Lauren B. Jones is widely recognized as an influential leader in the field. As founder and CEO of Leap Consulting, Lauren’s exceptional leadership skills have driven her success, but it’s not just her business prowess that sets her apart. Jones is a vocal advocate for women’s leadership and empowerment, making her an inspiring role model for aspiring female leaders.
After working in the corporate world for 22 years, Lauren B. Jones was laid off in early 2019 as a result of the pandemic. Faced with the choice of seeking another traditional job or pursuing her long-time dream of entrepreneurship, she chose the latter.
For years, Lauren had felt a burning desire to have more control and influence in her industry. She saw gaps and opportunities for change that weren’t being addressed and knew she had the skills and passion for making a difference. So, she took the plunge and started her own business.
It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s been a rewarding one. With hard work and perseverance, Lauren and her team have made great strides in their industry, filling a need that was previously unmet. She is proud of what they have accomplished and excited for what’s to come.
During her first year of entrepreneurship, she woke up every day feeling both terrified and excited. The fear came from the uncertainty of not bringing in any income, while the excitement stemmed from the newfound control she had over her ability to make money.
Despite her irrational thoughts and imposter syndrome, she found inner peace in the realization that she had worked tirelessly for other people in the past, and she was determined to work even harder for herself, “I worked so damn hard for other people, why wouldn’t I work that hard, if not harder, for myself? That was kind of my inner-peace talk.” She knew she had to do everything she could to make her venture successful.
Her hard work paid off. In the first year, she replaced her corporate income, sold her first million-dollar deal, and signed her first partnership. By the second year, revenue had doubled, and now in the third year, she and her team of four are poised to triple their starting point.
As the founder of her own business, Lauren jokes that she also holds the title of CFO – just not in the traditional sense. For her, CFO stands for Chief Failure Officer!
Despite the negative connotations typically associated with failure, Lauren embraces it as a valuable tool for growth and improvement. To Lauren, the ability to embrace and learn from failure is what sets successful entrepreneurs apart.
Lauren also hosts the You Own the Experience podcast, where she and her co-host Robert Man explore the intersection of technology and the people in the industry. Their discussions are not only informative but also entertaining, often filled with engaging banter and good humor. They cover a diverse range of topics such as leadership, technology, diversity, equity, inclusion, training, and change management, providing valuable insights into the latest developments in their industry.
Her firm, Leap Consulting Solutions, offers a range of services to its clients in the staffing and recruiting industry. These include technology ecosystem building, business process change management, and adoption of new technology.
In the industry, Lauren is a staunch advocate for women’s empowerment. She passionately believes that a noticeable gender gap exists, where young men are encouraged to pursue their dreams while young girls are often left behind. To address this issue, she argues that it is crucial to instill in girls the confidence and belief that they can succeed in any field they choose.
Her recent collaboration with several industry peers resulted in her first book, Together We Rise, a collection of personal stories focused on empowering women in the staffing industry.
As a woman, she finds it a fulfilling experience to help other women rise in their careers, especially in the wake of the pandemic, which she believes, has set back women’s participation in the workforce to levels not seen since the 1980s. For her, giving back to other women is the most meaningful part of her work, beyond her involvement in the technology industry.
Lauren points out that while the corporate landscape for women has improved significantly over the years, there is still much progress to be made in terms of pay equity and diversity.
While women make up approximately 50% of middle management in the industry, that number drops to just 20% when it comes to executive leadership. She recognizes that this gap must be addressed, and she and her co-authors have found a way to give back.
Their new book not only shares valuable insights and experiences from women in the industry but all proceeds from sales are donated to the American Staffing Association’s scholarship fund. This fund helps women attend conferences and gain exposure to executive leadership, ultimately bridging the gap and empowering more women to rise to the top.
Thanks to the book’s success, Lauren and her co-authors were able to sponsor six scholarships for women in the industry in 2022 alone. As Lauren notes, there is still much work to be done, but she is proud to be part of a movement that is breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations of women in staffing.
Lauren’s advice to women considering starting their own businesses is to take action rather than wait for everything to be perfect, “Do it. I wish I had done it sooner. If you’re thinking about it, it doesn’t need to be perfect. The most meaningful thing I learned over my first year is action over perfection.”
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