Our final Black History Month spotlight features Erin Smith, Chief of Staff and Director in Jabian’s Atlanta office! She is a passionate people manager who fosters a diverse and inclusive environment and brings meaningful change to organizations.

Q: How does your family celebrate big traditions/holidays?

A: One thing about my family is that we are EXTRA and we never do anything small! Family is so important to us and we typically celebrate milestone birthdays/anniversaries with a family trip. Our last big trip was in 2021 for my parent’s 65th birthdays. Thirty of our closest family and friends spent the week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was a week full of celebration, bonding, partying, and non-stop laughter.

Q: What are some ways you find comfort in spaces where you are the only Black person in the room? 

A: I learned very early on that there would be many times when I would be the only Black person in the room. My parents raised me to be confident and proud of the skin I’m in, and attending an HBCU (Howard University) also helped to prepare me for the corporate realities that were ahead. As I’ve navigated consulting and corporate America for the last ~20 years, I remain comfortable in these spaces by reaffirming to myself that I am just as (if not more) capable than everyone else in the room with me. I also know that as a leader, I am setting an example and paving the way for those following in my path so that they can also be comfortable in any space they’re in.

Erin Smith