Published May 04, 2023 by Brina Morales
In recent years, many companies and organizations have reexamined strategies within Supplier Diversity programs to improve outcomes and advance diversity, racial equity and inclusion. One of the companies at the forefront of these efforts is Partnership member JPMorgan Chase.
The financial services firm showcased how it has transformed strategies to be more intentional during the Partnership’s One Houston Together Spring Chief Purchasing Officers (CPO) Convening. Improving outcomes for Minority Business Enterprises is one of the two priorities of One Houston Together alongside talent advancement and board representation for people of color.
In 2020, JPMorgan Chase committed $30 billion over a five-year period to advance racial equity. The firm is harnessing its business, policy, philanthropy, and data expertise to reduce the racial wealth gap in Black, Hispanic, and Latino communities. Part of the bank’s commitment includes $750 million in additional spending with Black and Latinx suppliers.
JPMorgan is using five focus areas to drive a comprehensive strategy across the entire supply chain that includes:
Jim Flynn, Executive Director of Global Supplier Diversity at JPMorgan, said implementing a place-based strategy has allowed the firm to understand the ecosystems and cities where targeted minority business enterprises (MBEs) reside to either bring them into the procurement process or connect them with other community partners or resources. Houston is one of five cities where JPMorgan is implementing the place-based strategy.
“The old supplier diversity model was all about finding diverse suppliers and asking them to spend,” Flynn said. “The new model is about ‘what are all the things you can do within your organization to uplift those businesses and do more.’” One example is what Flynn calls the now, near and far strategy, which focuses on what the JPMorgan Global Supplier Diversity team can do for MBEs depending on the MBEs’ needs and where they are as a business.
“Many of these MBEs are corporate ready now, they just need access. So [it’s about] how can we help them break down barriers and become a disruptor in a convivial way with our colleagues to open a door,” Flynn said.
Flynn said measuring outcomes has been key to ensuring the sustainability and success of the program. JPMorgan’s Global Supplier Diversity team includes a business development group that is tasked with managing a portfolio of newly onboarded Black and Latinx businesses. Their job is to connect them to resources and be their internal champion. In addition, JPMorgan has started to measure the economic impact on an individual business level by collecting feedback from MBEs through a survey that asks questions such as:
Flynn said asking businesses what they need on an individual level has allowed them to learn that it is important to create multiple pathways “because each journey is different.”