Mellody Hobson and Condoleezza Rice to Empower Women Entrepreneurs at Chase’s Women Leadership Forum

Women of color entrepreneurs are among American business owners hit hard by COVID-19. At the same time, Black women entrepreneurs still often fall short in securing capital to start new businesses or to grow existing ones.

But the JPMorgan Chase Women on the Move Leadership Day on Oct. 1 aims to bring some relief by offering women business owners support. It will address issues impacting women now on many fronts, including the health and wealth crisis ignited by the global pandemic and racial injustice. The nation’s largest bank will open its fifth annual event to the public for the first time. It is an abridged version of Leadership Day that aired earlier this week.

Mellody Hobson (Twitter/MellodyHobson)

According to a news release, some sessions will include Mellody Hobson, CEO of Ariel Investments, No. 1 on BLACK ENTERPRISE’s 2019 Asset Managers list. Hobson tells JPMorgan Chase about her career journey and offers her best advice for advancing diversity in the workplace and staying resilient in the pandemic.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks with Chase Consumer Banking, CEO Thasunda Duckett, on mentors, racial injustice, and who inspired her to be the person she is today.

There will also be sessions on feminism, how tipping in the restaurant industry is rooted in slavery, and a panel on how small businesses are responding to COVID-19. For this year’s event, the bank claims it pulled together a compelling agenda with a diverse mix of speakers that represents women of many different backgrounds. It swears no other virtual conference will have all of these speakers in one place. The sessions are geared to move quickly and engage the audience.

“There’s no room for silence or complacency in the current environment, and it’s critical that Women on the Move continues to support the professional, financial, and health goals of all women through this event and other forums,” said Samantha Saperstein, managing director of Women on the Move, JPMorgan Chase.

According to the bank, Women on the Move started as an internal, firm-wide program to empower the firm’s female employees to grow their careers. In 2018, JPMorgan Chase expanded the program to include female clients, customers, and the communities it serves. One purpose was to boost firm-wide representation of women, especially women of color, including those at both the mid-tenure and executive levels.

The bank supports women-owned businesses and helps those hit hardest by the pandemic. To date, JPMorgan says it has committed $5 billion in lending to female small business owners, reaching the halfway point of a three-year commitment to lend $10 billion to women entrepreneurs by 2021.

The free event starts at  4 p.m. EST and can be viewed here.