Executive Sam Saperstein will lead the global initiative to advance women everywhere.
JPMorgan Chase announced Women on the Move, Sept. 26, a global initiative that will support women-run businesses, provide tools and education to help women increase their financial health and independence, and offer resources that empower women to excel in their careers.
Initially launched in 2013, as a series of events for female employees at JPMorgan Chase, Women on the Move has traveled to more than 23 cities and senior women from across the company have met with more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
We sat down with Sam Saperstein, the newly appointed head of Women on the Move, to discuss roles we can all play to help women achieve their goals.
How did you come to your role as Head of Women on the Move and what made it such a compelling opportunity?
I ran the Women’s Interactive Network at JPMorgan Chase a few years ago and have always been passionate about women’s career development and advancement in the workplace. At the end of last year, I heard from Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau that the firm was thinking about pulling the various women’s groups together under an umbrella brand, on par with the respective missions of the Office of Military and Veterans and Advancing Black Leaders. I raised my hand to say I’d really like to do it. The opportunity is so unique, and to do it as a full-time job is a real privilege.
Why did the firm decide to expand the mission of Women on the Move?
JPMorgan Chase has been committed to advancing women for many years. Five of our eleven operating committee members are women who are running some of the largest and most impactful businesses within the firm. We are working to combine our efforts and resources across the firm to create greater impact, greater influence and greater leverage with our partners. By bringing all of our work together, it signals we are serious about this. WOTM has been an internal brand for five years, and now we can share what we’ve learned to improve the lives of those who work outside of the JPMorgan Chase family.
What’s your vision for WOTM? How will you define success?
We have three areas of focus. The first is to be the best bank for women-run businesses. We want to establish a goal for what we can do to help those businesses, particularly in terms of access to capital for female business owners of small-to-mid-sized businesses.
Our second focus area is to help our female consumers improve their financial health, and together, strengthen our local communities. We will continue promoting the tools and resources we have in place to help women save more, manage their financial lives better and invest in their futures.
Employees are our third focus. We want more women rise to senior level roles. We’re having productive discussions with leaders across the firm on their diversity goals, how they hold managers accountable and what programs support these efforts. I would define near-term progress as opening the lines of communication at all levels, while long-term success is around increasing the representation of women at senior levels. WOTM has been focused on women, but how can men get involved?
Would you tell us about the “Men as Allies” concept?
The work we do on behalf of women, such as building a more inclusive culture, treating people fairly and providing more opportunities, will benefit men and women alike. With “Men as Allies,” we’ll invite men to the table to talk about the current state of women in the workforce, what it could be, the benefits of a more diverse workplace, and what men can do to champion their female coworkers.