In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down with Joy Stephens, Market Director at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management in Washington D.C. to discuss what Women’s History Month means to her, how the firm is empowering women and her goals for 2023.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you and how are you celebrating?
Women’s History Month is a great time to reflect, celebrate and honor the contributions of women. I’m a woman in financial services and it’s not lost on me that it wasn’t until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed in 1974 that women had the legal right to apply for a loan or obtain credit. I’m eternally grateful for the women that came before me and their contributions to our society.
How is JPMorgan Chase & Co. making an impact to support and empower women?
At JPMorgan Chase, we have programs aimed at helping to remove barriers for women and support them in their careers. Our firmwide Women on the Move initiative offers programs to support women’s career growth and professional development at every level. Our ReEntry Program offers professionals who have been on an extended career break of at least two years the support and resources to relaunch their careers. The program supports women, for example, who have taken a break from their careers to raise children and want to transition back into the workforce.
J.P. Morgan Wealth Management is committed to empowering women of color to learn more about investing and helping them build their wealth. Our 2022 Diverse Investor Study found that the majority of women are optimistic about their financial situation compared to five years ago. We want to build on that momentum by promoting education and resources around the importance of investing.
Our team has been traveling across the country for a roadshow of local educational seminars for Black and Latina women to create spaces for learning and support.
Last year, we hosted our annual “Building a New Legacy” marquee event here in Washington, D.C., where we brought together more than 75 Black and Latina women and allies to discuss investing for their future legacy and creating multigenerational wealth. The team will be on the road again this year to continue that important dialogue.
How should other companies and individuals be thinking about supporting and empowering women?
I think we can all make an effort to support and empower women at the workplace and in our local communities. Whether that’s by helping to ensure women have a seat at the table or supporting a colleague through mentorship.
JPMorgan Chase’s Women on the Move has a global “Men as Allies” program for men to take an active role in the effort to advance women across the firm. We can all be an ally and support our colleagues and community members.
Tell me about your connection to the D.C. community and how you are helping to support the community?
Washington, D.C. became my adopted home in 2003. I’ve had the opportunity to live in other places across the country but eventually came back to D.C. permanently. I love the rich history here in the district and the diversity of lived experiences of the people who call it home.
When I joined J.P. Morgan Wealth Management two years ago, I knew I wanted to help make an impact in D.C. and the surrounding regions. Our business is continuing to invest in the local market. Five years ago we had no Chase branches in the area, and today, we have advisors across more than 80 branches in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. By the end of 2025 we expect to have 140 branches open in the region.
It’s exciting to be a part of such a fast growing company that is committed to giving back to the community in so many ways. I’m proud of all my advisors and the support they are providing to our local families to help them build wealth and work toward their goals.
What are your goals for this year, and/or, what are you looking forward to in 2023?
At the end of December, I wrote down my guiding principles for the year: purpose, alignment and family.
One of my personal goals is to create greater purpose in my local community and to volunteer more time to organizations for the support and development of young girls. I was the beneficiary of similar organizations growing up, and those early experiences have had a major impact on who I’ve become today.
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