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Diversity In Action

Diversity efforts are solidified at JPMorgan Chase

"Diversity is part of how managers run their business every day. We are very committed to that sort of integration in the business," says an SVP

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Blending policies and corporate philosophies of merging companies is not usually easy. But at JPMorgan Chase, diversity efforts have become even more solidified since the 2004 merger of JPMorgan, Chase and Bank One. It all began when Jamie Dimon became CEO after the merger, says Sandy VanGilder, SVP and head of diversity.

Dimon chairs the corporate diversity council. He also meets regularly with minority managers to talk plainly about diversity within the company. And he holds town hall meetings to update employees.

Sharing information with employees was critical to smoothing the path of the merger, VanGilder emphasizes. Dimon is always accessible to employees by e-mail, and the sender is sure of getting a response, either from Dimon or the appropriate manager.

JPMorgan Chase is organized into six business segments. Its wholesale businesses include investment banking, commercial banking, treasury and securities services and asset and wealth management. Its consumer business includes retail financial services and card services.

The company's technology and ops group is made up of some 28,000 employees in twenty-five states and thirty-five countries. The group provides hardware and software support for the company's data and customer account info as well as desktop and phone networks. The IT team works on business technology solutions, and the ops team supports the bank's core businesses with check and payment processing and customer account services.

Before the merger the affinity groups tended to focus on networking. Now they get more involved in business strategies like recruiting and professional development, even offering courses on these subjects.

The company helps new employees by assigning them senior managers for sponsors. The sponsors "have first- hand experience in analyzing their people's performance" and become advocates for them in the company, recommending likely candidates for job openings or promotions, says VanGilder. "Sponsoring relationships exist all over the company, and they've widened the selection pool."

In VanGilder's HR department, twelve of twenty-five sponsored employees were given broader job responsibilities last year. Other departments have had similar results.

She adds that the company has "set up a very disciplined talent management process in every one of its business units." Managers review their teams twice a year to identify employees with the potential to take on more responsibility. "We do this for all our employees, and also use the process to identify high-performing minorities within each business unit."

"We're very committed to providing resources for work/life balance," says VanGilder, noting that New York senator Hillary Clinton has cited JPMorgan Chase as a top company for working mothers. For example, a series of backup childcare centers is available when employees' primary childcare arrangements fall through.

There's also a variety of flexible opportunities like working part time, working compressed hours or working a different schedule.

The company's GLBT employees can take advantage of the same health insurance tax breaks that married couples get. JPMorgan was the first Wall Street firm to provide such domestic partner benefits. "We're always looking hard at what can be done for our employees," VanGilder says.

She stresses that diversity is not strictly an HR function, but integral to the overall business philosophy of JPMorgan Chase. "Diversity is part of how managers run their business every day. It's part of everyday processes and management. We are very committed to that sort of integration in the business."

The company believes in "the power of a multifaceted relationship toward community support and outreach," notes VanGilder. For example, employees help teach local high school kids about financial literacy. "We work with students at practical levels of the subject, from the importance of savings to opening up a checking account."

The company supports community service by giving employees work flexibility and adjustable hours. "This service is considered an integral part of being a successful JPMorgan Chase employee," Van Gilder says.

The company also provides summer internship opportunities for UNCF students. "We have a pretty good track record of interns who continue to work with us after they graduate," VanGilder reports.


JPMorgan Chase & Co

Headquarters: New York, NY
Employees: 168,847
Revenues: $79.9 billion in 2005
Business: Global financial services; principal bank subsidiaries are JPMorgan Chase Bank and Chase Bank USA; principal non-banking subsidiary is J.P. Morgan Securities Inc


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