JPMorgan Chase discusses the DRC’s State of DEI, company’s racial equity initiatives

by Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

The State of DEI, presented by JPMorgan Chase, will bring together executives focused on creating a Dallas Region committed to inclusion, equity, and belonging on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Top CEOs and senior leaders will discuss topics relevant to shaping the future of our workforce and meeting the needs of our communities.

Belen Garren, Managing Director and North Texas Region Manager

In October 2020, JPMorgan Chase announced a $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and financial inclusion. Belen Garren, Managing Director and North Texas Region Manager for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking, and DRC Board member, discussed the company’s efforts, approach to DEI, and why backing the State of DEI is so important. Speakers include JPMorgan Chase’s Fred Royall, CBRE’s Tim Dismond, Southwest Airlines’ Juan Suarez, Kanarys’ Mandy Price, Reimagine RedBird’s Peter Brodsky, and James Armstrong of Builders of Hope.

View the full conversation:

JPMorgan Chase is about two years into its $30 billion commitment to racial equity. What work are you most proud of and how will you continue to move the needle?

We are focused on the main drivers of wealth and are leading with business-driven efforts to increase home ownership, small business ownership, and financial health. We committed lending, investments in community needs and affordable housing, and philanthropic support. We are also tackling this commitment through people, products, presence, and policy. For example, we created new positions, such as community managers, community home lending advisors, and senior business consultants, who can help build long-lasting relationships within our communities. We have opened community-focused branches across the country, including our Community Center in Oak Cliff, and we are working to bring tools and resources to the communities we serve, including free workshops about financial health, building wealth, and buying a home. When you have thriving communities, we all win.

How does JPMorgan Chase measure success as far as DEI in the Dallas Region?

Our Dallas market leadership team brings local leaders together to share strategies for reaching our DEI goals and measure success by the impact we have both internally and externally. One of our recent community successes was when someone came into our Oak Cliff Community Branch seeking guidance for helping their niece, a local schoolteacher, get a home. Our community home lending advisor worked with the schoolteacher to get her access to grants and programs, such as Dallas’ down payment assistance (DPA), which helps homebuyers with grants or low-interest loans that reduce the amount they need to save for a down payment.

Why is it important for JPMorgan Chase to sponsor events like the DRC’s State of DEI?

We’re grateful for the work the DRC is doing around DEI. To help drive inclusion and equity, we need to collaborate across the public and private sectors, and we are proud to be a part of a local business community that has really wrapped its arms around this effort. It’s going to take all of us, and we’re thrilled to be a small part of the puzzle. Collaboration makes everybody stronger, and real change only occurs when we’re utilizing everyone’s unique resources.

What are some ways the business community can continue the growth of DEI?

DEI is a business imperative, and businesses can continue to improve by taking a broad approach to efforts, working collaboratively across teams and departments. For example, our Dallas Region executives recently met with existing and potential tier-one suppliers to strengthen our diversity supplier pipeline.

Investing in the next generation of talent is also a great way to support DEI efforts. Our Advancing Black Pathways and Advancing Hispanic and Latinos Fellowship Programs offers undergraduate sophomores the opportunity to participate in a six-week, paid fellowship during the summer months in select JPMorgan Chase offices to build early professional development skills. This program is designed to position participants favorably for future employment with our company, including as interns and, hopefully, full-time employees after graduating.

Lastly, an inclusive culture with conversation is key. We have active employee resource groups, and we’ve had candid conversations around diversity, inclusion, and equity. These conversations were not as common in the workplace just a few years ago. However, creating a place where a team can be honest and vulnerable has truly been transformative.

For any questions, please contact Belen Garren.

Register for the State of DEI here. This event is presented by JPMorgan Chase. Gold Sponsors are Oncor and Target. Silver Sponsors are the Dallas Mavericks, Google, and the Law Offices of Erika N. Salter, P.C.