2021 marks the third year of Ethos as a company. To celebrate how much the team has grown since its beginning, we want to spotlight all of the talented and hardworking individuals who make up our team!
Over the next month, we will discover what each team member enjoys most about working here and what their personal ethos is.
This week’s highlight is Senior Associate, Lexi Brown!
I joined the Ethos team in July 2020 as an Associate and was promoted to a Senior Associate in January 2021. My experience here has been rather unique in that when I started, it was just Alida and me, so I’ve gained experience in working across all of our practices.With that said, my background is in advertising and marketing, and that’s what my primary role at Ethos is as I’ve grown into my current role. I work with our clients to help bring their brand strategies and marketing initiatives to life, especially as they relate to inclusive communication and their growth in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). When I’m not doing client work, I work on Ethos’ own marketing strategy to continue increasing awareness around the company and establishing our identity as experts in DEIB.
I have a strong passion for branding and creative strategy, but as a Black woman in America who has been in spaces where I was looked at as or treated as lesser than, I have an even stronger passion for helping people and creating a more just world. Finding a job that combines both of these passions had been a goal of mine since the start of my professional career.Before Ethos, my jobs just felt like jobs. While there were aspects I enjoyed, especially the teams I worked on, there was always something missing. I didn’t go to work feeling like I was making a difference or that I was really advocating for anyone, especially those belonging to marginalized communities and identities. And I’ve always felt very strongly about social justice issues, but I didn’t always feel like I had a voice. I, too, have had my moments of complicity when I knew or felt I should’ve said something—and I got tired of being silent. I especially felt this way after the events following George Floyd’s death last summer.We put a lot of focus on our clients at Ethos, but when I put the focus on our own company, I’m very thankful. There’s not one day I wake up and start work and feel like my voice doesn’t matter. I know if there’s anything on my mind, if there’s a specific issue I want to highlight, the team will be always there to listen and support.
My favorite aspect about working at Ethos is that everything that we suggest to our clients to improve their company cultures are also put into practice here. Individualized growth plans and continuing education stipends for each employee are strong examples.
One of the very first clients I worked with was The Chicago Community Trust, and I was immediately drawn in by their mission and initiatives to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap across the Chicagoland area. Through our marketing syncs, I got to know several of the individuals who work at the organization, so I was delighted to be a part of developing the Inside the Trust campaign, which highlighted the vital work of Trust employees across different pillars.
I often think about how diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work together rather than what they mean individually. Speaking on these terms personally, they’ve all been drivers throughout my life. I was very much the kid who just wanted everyone to get along. I even went through peer mediating training in middle school.My parents named me “Alexia” because they heard the name and liked it, but I looked it up one day when I was younger and discovered it’s a derivative of the Greek name “Alexander,” which translates to “defender of men.” That’s something that has stuck without me throughout my life; although, I like to say “defender of people.”Basically, I’ve experienced what it feels like to be silenced or viewed differently by people who cannot understand what it means to be marginalized or discriminated against; but, I think that people can be taught to be better and do better if they’re willing to grow. I don’t know how large my impact on this world will be. What I do know is that if I have the chance to make a difference, even in the smallest way, I’m taking it.
When I hear the word “ethos,” I think of “being.” This leads me to several questions I often think about regarding my own being and how it shapes my life. They are:
I hold a strong belief that your talents and successes mean nothing if they’re not shared. I’ve never really sought out praise, and I’m not a fan of idolization, because if I’m moving forward but the people around me are not, or if they’re hurting in some way, I see it as my duty to help get them where they want to be if (a) they reach out to me and want the help and (b) I have the means to do so.
Photos by Tembo Tones.