The events of 2020 have hit women hard, particularly women of color, working moms and essential front-line workers. Sam (short for Samantha) Saperstein, Managing Director of Women on the Move, the annual JPMorgan Chase conference, shared “There’s no room for silence or complacency in the current environment, and it’s critical that we continue to support the professional, financial and health goals of all women.”
The lineup for the Fifth Annual Women on the Move Leadership Day backs this promise up. In the previous four years, the conference was a resounding success and held onsite in New York City but just like almost everything today it’s now going virtual. Not any easy task.
The conference is traditionally a closed, invite-only Leadership Day for more than 20,000 employees, clients and partners around the world. This year the focus has shifted to address issues affecting women today, including the health and wealth crisis caused by the global pandemic and racial injustice.
Now for the first time ever, the virtual event will reach women all over the world on October 1st, with an abridged version of Leadership Day for the public. The objective is, based on today’s current environment and the growing need within so many communities, to expand its reach to women all over the world.
Notable female leaders joining Jamie Dimon and the JPMorgan Chase team include headliners from Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who’s back by demand as a repeat), IBM Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson, Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer, Love Squad CEO/Founder Ally Love, and Allyson Felix, the most decorated Track & Field Olympian to WW International, Inc CEO Mindy Grossman, who I have previously sat down with at the Forbes Women Conference.
So what makes this conference worth 90 minutes of your virtual time? Women on the Move—JPMorgan Chase’s initiative to fuel female ambition and advance financial equality—is specifically designed to inspire and empower women to grow their careers, by covering topics like career development, financial health and the importance of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saperstein shared with me that the Chase has “created a unique event for professional women that speaks to three key needs: helping women create and grow businesses; improving women’s financial health; and growing women’s careers. While other conferences may address one of these themes, we believe it’s important to cover both women’s professional and personal ambitions and needs.”
The goal is to have a “curated compelling agenda with a diverse mix of speakers who represent women of many different backgrounds.” According to Saperstein, “This powerhouse lineup doesn’t exist elsewhere in one place, and the sessions are designed to move quickly and engage the audience. Speakers’ views on the impact of Covid-19 on women, and how we can all play a greater role in achieving equality, will resonate with and inspire a broad audience.”
Given the relevance of this content and advice, Chase wanted to make this public and reach as many women as possible. The objective is to give women support to get through this pandemic, and their financial, career and well-being tips are designed to uplift and empower them.
As a conference precursor, Saperstein shared actionable advice on 5 ways women can gain access to meaningful lending, financial support or advice for either your business or for personal needs.
1.Create A Budget: Creating an emergency budget for your household will help you reexamine your spending patterns and identify what has changed or could change.
- Consider cancelling or pressing pause on automatic contributions you aren’t using, for example commuter expenses if you’re working remotely or not working during the pandemic.
- Review all of the subscription services you are currently paying for, things like streaming services and content providers, and evaluate if there are opportunities to consolidate or scale back.
2.Set Up An Autosave Rule: Even a dollar a day adds up over time. Using a tool such as Autosave can help you save automatically, which has been shown to be an effective way to increase savings.
- A JPMorgan Chase Institute report found that household savings levels have increased by 35% over the course of the pandemic and that lower-income families drove a larger share of the overall increase in savings seen across income levels.
3.Monitor Credit: Keep an eye on your money, especially by monitoring your credit score and credit report. One way to check your credit score for free is with Credit Journey.
4.Stay Invested: This is fascinating research and why it might be worth watching the markets closely. Over the last 20 years, six of the best 10 investing days occurred within two weeks of the 10 worst days. Based on these findings, investing for the long term while managing volatility can result in a better retirement outcome.
5.Understand Your Cash Flow: Saperstein advises, “For small business owners, understanding and maximizing cash flow is critical to survival right now. By monitoring cash in and out, assessing ways to capture new revenue streams, reviewing vendor relationships and competitors, small business owners can strengthen their cash position. Look for online content to help you navigate the process.
Saperstein added that for many women who feel underrepresented or who are struggling. especially Black women have made significant strides, yet face more hurdles to financial success than any other group in the United States, there’s strength in the sisterhood. JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways provides education, reassurance, and support through a program called Currency Conversations, offering these three tips as a way to start your journey and garner support from peers.
- Start where you are, with no judgment or negative talk; take time to have a conversation with other Black women about ways to align your financial goals and your core values.
- Connect with the women in your life that inspire you to be your best. They can be family (including family of choice), friends, co-workers or sistah-prenuers, as long as they are on their path to financial well-being and are willing to share their journey, provide support, and accountability.
- Set a regular day of the month (i.e. second Saturday or last Tuesday) and location (someone’s home, beauty shop or favorite eating spot) to work and celebrate together. Choose a place that offers some privacy so you can speak freely; meeting at a Black-owned business can further support the community.
JPMorgan Chase is also supporting women-owned businesses and helping those hit hardest by the pandemic. To date, the firm has committed $5 billion in lending (and plan to announce more during the day) to female small business owners, reaching the halfway point of their three-year commitment to lend $10 billion to women entrepreneurs by 2021. They’ve also invested $51 million to women philanthropic initiatives.
With more idly needed resources becoming available, maybe it’s time to put your plans into action. That’s what this conference is all about-the right advice from female leaders who have had encountered their fair share of hurdles but ultimately found their way.
Finally, if you’re wondering what kind of practical advice to expect, you’ll hear from Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Ginni Rometty, Mellody Hobson, Rosalind Brewer – on how they navigated through challenge and change, what they learned from taking on risk and addressing crises, and what organizations can do to promote greater diversity and inclusion. Olympian Allyson Felix talks about her goals for the Olympics and beyond, and why she spoke out on maternity benefits and the need to protect women’s health and compensation.
Janet Alvarez will address financial health, and what you can do right now to strengthen your personal finances and remain on solid footing during and after the Covid-19 crisis. WW CEO Mindy Grossman will sum it all up when she is joined by a special guest and longtime WW supporter to discuss personal well-being and what women can do right now to take care of themselves. My guess is that is code for Oprah. One thing is guaranteed. We’ll all find out the surprise together.