Diverse businesses are the backbone of many communities. That’s why JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping these businesses develop and thrive. Ted Archer, Global Head of Business Partner Diversity for JPMorgan Chase, recently spoke about why diverse suppliers are good for business and the community.
- How did you come to lead supplier diversity at JPMorgan Chase and what inspired you to get involved in this work?
I’ve been at JPMorgan Chase for seven years and most of my career has been dedicated to building business programs that drive economic growth. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is working with underrepresented businesses to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed. At JPMorgan Chase, supplier diversity is just one way we make dreams possible for these diverse business owners, their employees, and their communities.
- Why should companies prioritize supplier diversity?
Supplier diversity provides companies with access to innovation. Diverse suppliers bring new perspectives and solutions to business problems. They also know how to operate efficiently with limited resources and are agile to suit different business needs. In addition, supplier diversity generates wealth in diverse communities. Diverse suppliers tend to hire within their local areas, providing jobs and incomes, lifting the overall economy. A prosperous and thriving community is good for everyone.
- How are you re-thinking supplier diversity? What is JPMorgan Chase doing differently?
An important component of supplier diversity is supplier development. Small and underrepresented businesses often don’t have access to the same resources, financing and contacts that large majority-owned companies do. Building deeper relationships with these businesses enables us to identify other ways to support their growth, including creating connections to networks that lead to contract opportunities, capital and other resources.
- How are you amplifying the impact of supplier diversity across the wider business community?
We have mobilized over 100 of our top suppliers to mirror the firm’s commitment to supplier diversity by creating and enhancing their own supplier diversity programs. Through mentoring, coaching and education, we help these companies develop and operate their own sustainable supplier diversity programs, which will generate opportunity and growth for decades.
The results speak for themselves: 85% of the businesses enrolled in our mentorship program launched new supplier diversity programs in 2022. Additionally, over the last two years, nearly 90% of our top suppliers have committed to spending increases generating more than $6 billion in new spend with underrepresented businesses.
- How would a diverse business get started working with large companies like JPMorgan Chase?
For businesses interested in providing services to companies in the private sector, the best first step is to become certified by a diverse business certifying organization. While many business owners are familiar with government diversity certifications, there are also certifications recognized by private-sector corporations, such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council or the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. These organizations can also help connect businesses with prospective corporate clients via conferences, seminars and webinars – all designed to provide business owners with information and enable them to meet and network with corporate executives.
In addition, companies with active supplier diversity programs often have online registration portals through which they invite business owners to share their company history and capabilities. JPMorgan Chase has a Supplier Diversity Network, which is a searchable database for our supplier diversity and sourcing teams to find new diverse businesses when contract opportunities come up.
- Are there any final thoughts?
Supplier diversity programs are good for any business, and they have a powerful positive impact on employees, families, and communities. It’s an honor to work with diverse businesses to provide jobs, lift local economies, and make dreams come true.
Finances FYI is presented by JP Morgan.