In celebration of Women’s History Month and in recognition of the #EmbraceEquity theme for International Women’s Day 2023, we sat down with Carolina Jannicelli, head of Community Impact at JPMorgan Chase, to discuss what the month means to her, how the firm is advancing equity for women and underrepresented communities.
- What has been an inspiration to you throughout your professional career?
I’ve been inspired by the many trailblazing women who role-modeled a path for women to succeed in business. Their effort to overcome gender stereotypes and succeed in a world that didn’t always provide the same opportunities for women in leadership has paved the way for countless women to achieve their career dreams and goals.
I’m equally inspired by the growing number of women I’ve met as part of my work in Community Impact who are building their own businesses, and who are helping in their families and communities get ahead. Whether it be first-time homebuyers or first-time investors, women motivate and inspire me daily.
2. How is JPMorgan Chase supporting women in the workplace and how can the business community do more?
From the way we do business to the policies we advocate for, our commitment to women is part of our continued effort to bring an enhanced equity lens to all of our work and to the way we serve customers, clients and communities.
Our Women on the Move initiative has the goal of expanding women-run businesses, improving women’s financial health, empowering women’s career growth, and supporting women and girls in our communities around the world. Within the firm, we’re committed to recruiting and retaining more women at all levels and helping more women ascend to senior-level roles. We’re also supporting women entrepreneurs outside of the firm through initiatives, such as Curated Coaching for Entrepreneurs, which provides free small group business coaching.
While there have been advancements by the business community in supporting women, inequities persist. Promoting financial education for women – whether it be directly to employees, clients, or business partners, or through supporting nonprofit organizations with this mission – is another important area to lean in to.
3. What barriers have you overcome in your career?
I began my career at JPMorgan Chase more than two decades ago, initially helping Latin American clients access global capital markets. As the daughter of Central American small business owners, this work was very important to me and continues to drive me in my role as head of Community Impact. Our team works to help deliver JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion Racial Equity Commitment to help close the racial wealth gap in underserved communities.
While I’ve experienced success as a professional, there were periods when I was struggling in silence. Early in my career, I was one of the few Latina women advancing as fast as my male counterparts, and I was afraid that asking for help or displaying any sort of uncertainty could be perceived as a weakness and used against me. I began portraying an artificial persona, trying to “blend in as a way of fitting in,” which negatively affected my interactions with others and devalued my perception of myself.
Over time, I came to the realization that I couldn’t expect others to accept me if I hadn’t accepted myself – that’s when it started to click. As my career progressed, I learned to fully embrace my background as my strength. I recognized that I broaden the palette of ideas and experiences brought to the table. And by bringing my whole self to work, I learned to find my voice, amplify my impact and build authentic relationships with colleagues and clients who, in turn, got to know the real me. It’s how I came to lead our Community Impact work.
4. What tips to achieve success would you give to a young aspiring professional?
Build a tribe – a network of friends and mentors who care about you and will give you honest advice. Women, especially from underrepresented communities, need to get comfortable with the fact that challenges will come but they do not need to be faced alone. I learned that there is transformational power in a simple conversation where you’re just sharing what you’re feeling. That’s how things suddenly shift, and you’re able to gain insights and a better perspective.
5. How is JPMorgan Chase celebrating Women’s History Month this year?
Throughout the month and all year round, JPMorgan Chase will host events focused on a diverse community of inspiring women who will share their stories and insights on topics ranging from leadership, activism, career lessons, and much more. I’ve enjoyed the events organized thus far, and look forward to all events to come later in the month and throughout the year.
For more inspiration, whether it’s to help advance your own career or ways to support women in your field, JPMorgan Chase’s Women on the Move hosts the weekly Women on the Move Podcast — jpmorganchase.com/impact/people/women-on-the-move/women-on-the-move-podcasts — which inspires listeners and shares insights from some of the most notable leaders working to secure an equal future for women in the workplace.
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