Jocelyn Lincoln’s story is changing African American experience in the workplace

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Reflecting upon how she got her start at Kelly, Jocelyn laughed at the fated nature of her original discovering of an opening, “It’s crazy to think that all of this wouldn’t have started without that newspaper ad.”

But how has she overcome the many obstacles that come with navigating her career while being an African American woman? Through hard work and passion — alongside faith — Jocelyn has been able to continuously overcome systemic limitations and hurdles. In doing so, she’s become exceedingly aware of the fact that her successes impact not only various perceptions and views of her, but also of the African American community in general.

“Sometimes, the responsibility can fall on me to represent an entire group, for better or for worse,” Jocelyn explained. Nonetheless, Jocelyn has wasted no time turning lemons into lemonade —through faith and purpose, she’s transformed these challenges into motivational factors that drive her to influencing positive change in the workplace and her community.

Jocelyn Lincoln is a passionate leader and an inspirational visionary who’s dedicated to creating a better future for her community, workplace, and society. As a military “brat”, Jocelyn was born and raised in Germany, moving around with her family to Washington DC, Southern California and eventually settled down in Michigan. While attending Michigan State University, she was unsure of what she wanted to major in, and initially decided to study engineering. But after attending a random lecture out of curiosity, she discovered an untapped passion for Advertising and Marketing. It was a feature story on Ann Fudge, one of the first African American women to lead brand strategies at companies like Kraft and General Mills, that inspired Jocelyn’s career journey.

Faith is an important theme in Jocelyn’s life; faith has helped her through a number of life-defining experiences and has helped her to attain the purview and position she’s in today. Faith has remained a foundational part of the decisions she makes and core belief that “Faith without works is dead”.

This “work” involves a commitment to service and community, Jocelyn facilitates positive change through the Pretty Brown Girl foundation — a nonprofit focused on uplifting and empowering young African American girls — by meeting with 3rd and 5th graders and helping to encourage and support self-love and self-appreciation.

In her workplace, Jocelyn has been a constant and fervent advocate for virtual work as “the future of employment,” citing a number of visible benefits for both companies and employees. For employees, Jocelyn is keenly aware of how virtual work will offer opportunities to those currently limited by travel capabilities or disabilities and is just as aware of how virtual work can decrease the prospect of various forms of workplace discrimination — particularly in the case of race.

“I know that my interaction forms an opinion, sometimes, of an entire community — positively or negatively,” Jocelyn said. But Jocelyn remains informedly optimistic about the future, believing that, “We’re at a turning point for culture” in terms of the African American experience in Corporate America.

However, she believes there is a key process needed for this change to take place. “Sometimes people don’t necessarily feel safe having those conversations,” she says, citing the risks of being labelled or viewed as “difficult” as main factors. “There needs to be the space to have the conversation and push the culture forward.”

Jocelyn’s commitment to her passions is evident in every domain of her life, and her contributions to her community and the workplace are visibly helping to improve elements of the African American experience in society.

Whether Jocelyn is enacting change in the office through her work for Kelly, or through community service, she is committed to making a difference with purpose and inspiring others to believe they can do the same.

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