In basketball, to avoid the penalty of traveling, the player must learn the art of the pivot. The ability to assess what’s best in the moment and re-prioritize the next moves for maximum benefit is something people must learn in life as well.

Much of the world has experience with the concept because of the complexities of COVID-19. The ability to pivot has become even more critical to corporate spaces as employees navigate what’s best for them, their families, and their future.

AfroTech had the opportunity to speak with Jasmine Brennan about how she mastered re-prioritization during the pandemic.

Change From The Beginning

A member of T. Rowe Price’s Corporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, Brennan serves as the VP, Head of DEI, Americas. She started with the firm at the onset of its shift to remote work, so she quickly had to adjust to an onboarding process that was different from anything she’d experienced before.

“Like many other professionals during this time frame, I assumed that within a few days, or weeks at most, I’d be able to meet my new colleagues in person. I had no idea that it would be about two years before I was able to come into the office,” Brennan explained.

Despite the nuances and unexpected, virtual onboarding that COVID-19 brought to Brennan’s start at T. Rowe Price, it didn’t stop her from diving deep into the work of building equitable workspaces  and cultivating diverse partnerships to advance the firm’s DEI mission.

Pushing The Culture

Brennan knows that, now more than ever, it takes an intentional strategy to cultivate and sustain a culture that represents the firm’s values and priorities for the evolving needs of its people.

One way T. Rowe Price approaches this work is through its diversity talent acquisition initiatives. With a focus on attracting diverse talent, the firm has established partnerships with diverse professional organizations, success measures and indicators to ensure that progress toward more diverse representation is made. This also includes inclusive interviewing and selection practices to ensure that equitable hiring decisions are made.

From a retention perspective, T. Rowe Price equips managers with tools to lean into best practices around inclusion and equity, as well as practical applications to integrate into their leadership style. Tailored mentoring, sponsorship, coaching and leadership development offerings are extended to diverse talent at the firm to ensure employees are empowered to reach their full career potential. 

Besides recruiting and retention efforts, T. Rowe Price prides itself on the sense of community cultivated at the firm.

“Our BRGs (business resource groups) provide a great forum for our associates to feel an enhanced sense of community and connectivity, build their network and cultivate long-lasting relationships,” Brennan pointed out.

Focus On Humanity

Brennan believes that “culture” is a term that’s constantly evolving. As such, the approach to organizational culture and how it shapes the employee experience must evolve — especially as the world moves forward in the newly established “normal.”

Whether or not people are tired of hearing about it, COVID-19 made the ability to delineate between work and home blurry, and people have had to figure out where the lines are.

“Prior to the pandemic, I was in a place where I was able to delineate between work and home, truly. At the height of the pandemic, there was no longer separation for me. Frankly, I dealt with a lot of mom guilt,” Brennan told us. “I have always been career-oriented, but at the same time, I take a lot of pride in being a mother.”

Brennan initially struggled to navigate what to prioritize. However, through introspection, Brennan learned and embraced what flexibility meant for her. She put her humanity first, taking stock of her personal and professional priorities, and took intentional steps to create boundaries while evaluating how competing priorities could affect her work as both a mother and senior leader.

With her team’s support of the boundaries she set for work and family, Brennan has established a solid rhythm that prioritizes work excellence but, most notably, her well-being and mental health. T. Rowe Price celebrated and welcomed this approach.

“I asked for help where I needed it. As a new leader, there was a lot that I didn’t know. After a couple of weeks of figuring things out and trying not to ‘be a burden to anyone,’ I became super unapologetic about seeking the tools and support I needed for success,” she explained.

It Takes A Village

Brennan recognizes that she didn’t get to this space alone. From her own learning experiences to the advice she received from mentors, Brennan acknowledges she could not be in this space without the support of her family and colleagues.

“I was impressed by the organic sense of community cultivated for me. I have been able to reach out across the firm for counsel on how to navigate situations, and I’ve received an open-door invitation from my colleagues. I’m grateful for the many colleagues and leaders across the firm who are invested in the work that I am leading and invested in my growth,” Brennan said.

Brennan’s belief in balancing the duality of work and rest has been key as she navigates all of her personal and professional responsibilities. Striving to leave no stone unturned, her humanism is at the core of her productivity even while managing the ever-changing landscape brought on by the pandemic. The art of the pivot is the mastery of re-prioritizing what makes the most sense, and Brennan is a poster child for this art.

To learn more about T. Rowe Price and how it supports team members navigating competing priorities, visit here.


This editorial is brought to you in partnership with T. Rowe Price.