J.P. Morgan’s Working Family Network (WFN) connects and supports employees integrating work and families. WFN helps employees share knowledge and network with each other. Launched in December 2019, the WFN has executive support firm-wide and almost 200 employee members in Australia – and growing!
Making a real impact
The WFN is one of J.P. Morgan’s Business Resources Group (BRG). A BRG is an inclusive group of employees who voluntarily work together to leverage members’ unique perspectives and advance J.P. Morgan’s position in the global marketplace.
Employee-led groups like the WFN connect employees beyond their day-to-day work, giving them a chance to support their colleagues and create strong connections.
Georgia Yeomans, Vice President Fixed Income Sales, is the Co-chair of the Australia & New Zealand chapter of WFN, and says,
“Joining WFN has greatly expanded my J.P. Morgan network, helping me feel more connected across the firm and has provided me with the opportunity to both receive and provide support in a number of important areas. After returning from parental leave, I found connecting with other WFN members helpful as I navigated the many challenges of balancing work and family life.”
Adam Snyder, Executive Director, Platform Sales, is the Co-chair and a single Dad who benefits from the WFN. Adam enjoys that it enables him to contribute in a different way.
“It allows me to give back to others. Sharing my story and helping create ways to inform and support members provides me with a platform to give back to my colleagues outside of my ‘day job’.”
Beyond new parents
We often see support for families show up as support for new parents, including parental leave policies and flexible work options (particularly when children are young) and logistical support such as breastfeeding rooms. J.P. Morgan has all of this, but the WFN provides support for all elements of working family life and takes many forms.
It is not solely focused on caring for children – many employees have caring responsibilities for elderly parents, for example. The WFN acknowledges the many different forms modern families take.
Some of the topics the WFN have covered include:
- Becoming parents and caring for small children
- Ageing parents
- Family unit changes
- Mental health within families
- Marriage and partnership
- Schools, social media and bullying
- How to support your young adult children
- Expats: how to make things work without a village
Adam tells us, “Through the WFN, I have received feedback, advice and counsel on how to more effectively manage the challenges of being a single parent and my career. From children, teenagers, young adults through to elderly parents, the WFN accesses the firm’s resources to provide insights on how to balance family and work.”
The WFN connects employees with each other, as well as introducing external sources and subject matter experts. The group is focused on delivering practical information that employees can take away and implement in their daily lives.
“We are all part of a family of some shape or form.”
Whatever stage you are at in your personal or professional life, the WFN can be a valuable source of support and offers practical solutions. Dealing with aging parents, family members with mental illness or disability, marriage and partnership challenges, the stress of trying to conceive and much more. The WFN tackles these tough topics and in doing so ensures all J.P. Morgan staff have access to information and support to help them feel their best and achieve their personal aspirations.
Adam agrees with Georgia, “All employees will go through significant life events during their careers, with many of them being related to family, and there can be a stigma attached to discussing those experiences at work. The WFN is a vehicle to help support employees, encourage those conversations and draw on the firm’s existing resources.”
Commitment to the future
As a growing BRG, the WFN is just getting started, and they have big plans, because at J.P. Morgan, people are the most important thing. Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO tells us, “Nothing is more vital to the long-term growth of JPMorgan Chase than our ability to attract and retain talented and dedicated employees.”
“Embracing the power that our differences deliver is an important aspect of the firm’s culture and approach, and a key focus of the BRG network is inclusion. Inclusion is central to connecting employees across J.P. Morgan. This value is important for the WFN because we have a collective responsibility to create a workplace that makes everyone feel valued – including families in all forms.”
Georgia’s experience supports Jamie’s comment, and she shares, “J.P. Morgan is very supportive of working families but as we continue to grow in an ever changing work landscape, there is always more that can be done. J.P. Morgan’s commitment to the WFN is commendable as it shows the willingness to listen to direct feedback from employees, and the motivation to invest time and resources in these initiatives.”
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