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Please update your browser. Learn More. Troy Snell always knew he wanted a family of his own, but the timing never seemed right. Marcia Hernandez worked for two years to save enough money for a down payment on a first home for herself and her wife, Vivian. JPMorgan Chase's culture is shifting when it comes to inclusivity, hiring practices and acceptance of people who think Black pages ny. It's Autism Inclusion Month at the firm, and we're taking a look at the critical and important contributions of people who are neurodiverse. Thank you both for being here today.
Anthony, let's start with you. Why is a program like Autism at Work so critical?
And how has the program influenced productivity and inclusivity at the firm? Yeah, great question. So when we started this program, it was out of business necessity. We were looking for a different type of talent. And at that time, we just didn't have enough of the talent in Black pages ny IT space.
So what happened was we understood that folks on the spectrum were knocking it out of the park in other companies and corporations. And so we decided to bring that here to JPMorgan Chase. We've gone from four folks in the program in to over today, in nine countries, in 40 different job roles. So that speaks volume to the breadth of talent that we're bringing in.
And Jesse, you were diagnosed with autism at age And you made the complete career shift from social work to the work you're doing today at JPMorgan Chase. How did a program like Autism at Work help make that career change? Yeah, Christina, I was diagnosed with autism at age Growing up, I struggled with social cues and understanding facial expressions.
And it became more apparent as I got older that my brain just simply assessed information and situations differently than others. While my wife and I were dating, we had a conversation one night about the possibility of me being on the autism spectrum. And she encouraged me further to talk to my doctor, which ultimately led to my diagnosis. My diagnosis simply gave us more language and tools to help us navigate our lives together. And I'm happy to share that we've been married now for almost three years and expecting a daughter, Zofia Rose, in May.
Through our conversations after my diagnosis, we found the Autism at Work program. The program gave me access to the training and guidance I needed to shift careers and, most importantly, provided me with the necessary support and encouragement. Too often, being different is seen as something bad or that should be hidden. But that couldn't be more wrong. Being different is a good thing. And the Autism at Work program has helped myself at J. Morgan recognize that neurodiversity is a true asset and something that should be celebrated. That's such an important message. And by the way, congratulations to you and your wife and growing family.
That's so exciting. Anthony, you've mentioned that people who are part of the program can bring their full selves to work. How have you seen the corporate culture change because of the program? So this is giving them the opportunity to come in, bring their whole selves to work, as you said, but kind of take the mask off that they might've had to utilize their entire life. The empathy has increased. And I think the social awareness, obviously, has increased.
And I think when you bring somebody in who's on the spectrum or thinks differently or has a cognitive difference, I think when you bring those folks on your team, it kind of sets you apart because now you're Black pages ny at things in a totally different light. And Black pages ny people get comfortable. And one of the misconceptions is folks on the spectrum are not social. I can tell you from firsthand experience Black pages ny Jesse's a prime example of that — that is not the case.
We have people leading team meetings and scrum meetings and doing different things in operations areas. Managers are also learning different techniques and ways that they're able to communicate with their teams. It's because they're learning with somebody who's on the spectrum that there's different ways to do that. Whether it's bringing in an advocate to help out or just trying a different methodology via Skype or chat or whatever that may be.
So it's actually increasing how we talk to colleagues who are neurotypical as well. The culture shift that we have now at Black pages ny Chase because of the program is absolutely unbelievable.
We have many other companies and corporations asking us how we did the program. And we said we started small, and now we're scaling it to where it is one of the leading ones in the world. And, Jesse, back over to you. What advice would you give other companies who are looking to hire people who are neurodiverse? And what can people do to embrace the neurodiverse culture even more? If you're looking to increase your neurodiversity, I think it's important to set up the programs that go beyond recruitment. That informs colleagues and managers on how they can reframe their practices to be more inclusive.
And alleviates the burden off of the individual to have to disclose and educate others on their diagnosis, which can be really difficult and anxiety-provoking. Additionally, it's important to address the physical work environment too. When we were in the office and we had office spaces, like alternative office seating and lower lighting and deated quiet zones, those things can be really helpful to somebody who has sensory sensitivities like myself.
In general, creating a work environment that celebrates differences in thought, hosting conversations about neurodiversity — not only during Autism Inclusion Month but throughout the year — and being more conscious of practices and languages that may be unintentionally exclusive are Black pages ny that we can all build a more diverse and inclusive work environment. Well, thank you Jesse, thank you Anthony, so much for sharing your story and a little bit more about this critical program.
Appreciate your time. James: This country's the land of opportunity, there's just a group of people in this country who have not been afforded the opportunity yet. We put together a council to really focus on three areas of concern for black people in this country. Soledad: Wealth,education and careers are actually intertwined.
They have to be considered simultaneously. If you can solve the problem, and it is a problem, about the lack of black wealth, you can move the needle Black pages ny a lot of issues in not just the black community, but in America as a whole. Richelieu: Part of those pillars is the Advisory Board, right, of people that come from different walks of life and that have figured out ways to break through in each of those ways, now getting together to collectively think through how to bring this breakthrough.
Mellody: The s are very, very clear. So there are these wealth gaps that exist that ultimately lead to less economic prosperity for the black community. Kevin: As a person that came up with nothing, um, and there was a bunch of people just like me that didn't ask, didn't know, didn't care.
I got to a Black pages ny in my life where I was around people who gave information that I never knew existed. So Advancing Black Pathways is giving people understanding. Richelieu: We now have a well-resourced organization that is intentional, that is building pillars underneath that intention so that these intentions can be executed.
Soledad: Calling it Black Pathways, we're very clear. This is about black people and we're going to advance the multiple pathways in which they can be successful and actually grow wealth for black people. In a fast-moving and increasingly complex global economy, our success depends on how faithfully we adhere to our core Black pages ny. We are combining our business and policy expertise, sustainable business practices, data, capital and global presence to advance solutions that create inclusive economic growth. If you want Black pages ny make an impact with your work while being supported by smart and motivated colleagues, come find your next opportunity with us.
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