Sisterhood in the Workplace: Supporting Black and Latina Women beyond Women’s History Month – The Chicago Cusader

Posted: May 3, 2022 at 10:09 pm

To support Black and Hispanic women in the workplace, we must understand the unique challenges they face and advance solutions. Young Black and Latina girls are more likely to identify as leaders than girls of other races. However, when they grow up, the pay and opportunity disparities are jarring. In fact, according to the US Census, Black women were paid 63% of what non-Hispanic white men were paid. That means it takes the typical Black woman 19 months to be paid what the average white man takes home in 12 months. And Latinas endure the widest pay gap of any group, earning just 57 cents on the dollar compared to non-Latino white men.

Its no secret that gender bias plays a role in income disparities, and unfortunately, these inequities intensify when considering compounding factors like race and ethnicity. JPMorgan Chase is increasing awareness around these inequalities and is committed to using its resources to make real change not just during Womens History Month, but every month.

Silvana Montenegro, Head of Advancing Hispanic & Latinos and Byna Elliott, Head of Advancing Black Pathways at JPMorgan Chase recently discussed their perspectives on women in the workplace, and how the company is helping to create an equal playing field.

Q: How is JPMorgan Chase working to tackle income inequity for Black and Hispanic/Latina women?

Silvana: Tackling income inequality requires consistent programming that focuses on inequity both in the workplace and in the educational environment Black and Hispanic/Latina women are in before they start working. Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) and Advancing Hispanic & Latinos (AHL) were born out of recognition that, while our company has made efforts to be inclusive and impactful in all activities, we must be intentional in our approach. ABP was established to help the Black community chart stronger paths toward economic success and empowerment, while AHL is a way for us to drive meaningful and sustainable change for the Hispanic and Latino communities.

Through these initiatives, weve created activities focused on entrepreneurship, career readiness and support, financial health, and community development. Women are a core audience for all of our efforts.

Q: How is JPMorgan Chase helping Black and Hispanic/Latina -owned businesses grow and expand?

Byna: The number of Black and Latina women becoming entrepreneurs is accelerating. Black business ownership is up by almost 30% on pre-pandemic levels and Black women are the fastest-growing group of female entrepreneurs. Similarly, Latinas are more likely to own or plan to own their own businesses than non-Hispanic women. We want to see entrepreneurs not simply do well, but thrive!

Partnership is key in helping to reach Black and Latina entrepreneurs with helpful resources. Internally, we partner across our business including with our community and consumer branch colleagues who are often the face of the company to entrepreneurs to offer business education, coaching and banking solutions to business owners. External partnerships are also critical.

For example, ABP partnered with digitalundivided to launch BREAKTHROUGH, a business-intensive program designed to help women of color entrepreneurs propel their businesses. The curriculum includes programming on strengthening customer engagement and banking relationships, as well as identifying and implementing business models. Upon completion, each participant receives a $5,000 grant to invest in their business.

Silvana: Weve also introduced a new partnership with Elevate Together a program designed to support the growth and prosperity of Black and Hispanic-and Latino-owned small businesses in collaboration with U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The ODP Corporation. We are supporting this years expansion by being the exclusive provider of bilingual financial education content through Chase for Business modules and supporting the creation of an online platform where participants can register to access materials for free.

Byna: Both ABP and AHL offer fellowship programs, which aim to increase opportunities for underrepresented communities in the financial industry. The ABP Fellowship Program launched in 2019 and the AHL program will commence this year. Nearly 700 students have participated in the programs, more than half of which identify as female. The programs provide a six-week paid, full-time fellowship held during the summer for rising sophomore college students who identify as Black and Hispanic and Latino. This opportunity exposes students to hands-on experience, mentorship, and a project-based curriculum, designed to help build a pathway to future opportunities.

Silvana: Additionally, we recently established a partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund one of the nations largest non-profit organizations supporting higher education for Hispanic and Latino students to grow the entry-level pipeline of Hispanic and Latino employees, expand campus recruiting opportunities and provide financial education for Hispanic and Latino students.

Silvana: Absolutely! For example, last year, J.P. Morgan Wealth Management hosted Building A New Legacy: A Summit for Black and Latina Women. The virtual celebration of sisterhood provided a unique space for Black women, Latinas and all allies to take an investing journey together. Through live discussion panels, one-on-one sessions with celebrities and on-demand conversations, the event served as a platform to help promote education on building and retaining wealth.

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For more, visit You can also learn more about both ABP and AHL at:

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Sisterhood in the Workplace: Supporting Black and Latina Women beyond Women's History Month - The Chicago Cusader

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