How Two Female Financiers Are Helping Women and Minorities Achieve Financial Success

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It’s no secret that young women everywhere are proving to be an unstoppable force, particularly in the workforce, where they’re driving change and diversity. Two female financiers are taking it upon themselves to champion women and minorities in their industry and beyond, proving that they are quite literally the definition of girl power. 

We talked with Madeline Mauzy, an Analyst for JPMorgan Chase’s Market Strategy and Advice team, and Sharnell Delmohammed, a Program Management Associate for the firm’s Advancing Black Pathways Program Management Office, about how they (along with JPMorgan Chase) are helping women and minorities achieve financial success through education and career opportunities. 

What lead you to your career field?

Madeline Mauzy (MM): I really loved the relationship aspect of Wealth Management: getting to know individuals and families and then helping them reach their financial goals. I also follow current events and markets closely, and I found the behavioral/psychological side of investing super interesting.

Sharnell Delmohammed (SD): A passion for people. Human capital is our greatest asset and while talent is created equally, opportunity is not. I wanted to be in a career field where I am able to create opportunities for those who wouldn’t otherwise have it: underserved populations.

How did you get started at JPMorgan Chase, and why did you choose a career there?

MM: I was a member of a student organization/social club at Georgetown University called GUASFCU (Georgetown University Alumni & Student Federal Credit Union). JPMorgan Chase hosted a few recruiting events specifically for GUASFCU members, and I attended one of their panel events on diversity and women in Wealth Management. I was so impressed by each of the panelists and what they had to say about their experiences at JPMorgan Chase, including the firm’s culture, its people, and its emphasis on continuous growth and education.

SD: I was a recipient of the Thomas G. Labrecque Smart Start Scholarship Award, which was truly a blessing from God. I applied during my senior year of high school and started working at JPMorgan Chase a month after graduation. It was a four-year undergraduate rotational internship and scholarship program for graduating NYC high school seniors, and I was able to intern across the bank, completing four annual rotations. I chose a career at JPMorgan Chase because of the culture and company values in building inclusive communities, creating social impact by investing in community development, and financial health.

Tell me about your role at JPMorgan Chase. What’s a typical day like at your job?

MM: I’m an analyst on the Market Strategy and Advice team, which is responsible for communicating thematic market and investment insights across JPMorgan Chase Wealth Management businesses. The team has a unique and broad mandate to synthesize Wealth Management views across all asset classes, sectors, and geographies, and to share these insights via internal sales force education, external client presentations, and internal and external publications. As an analyst on the team, I’m responsible for driving ideas, planning, and coordination of the global morning meetings; interfacing with product/strategy partners across Wealth Management to craft and develop messaging of investment themes; assisting with global business strategy, and contributing analysis and materials for Market Strategy and Advice content.

SD: I am a Project Manager for the Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) initiative. Launched by JPMorgan Chase in February 2019, ABP is a bold initiative to help black Americans achieve economic success and is focused on three pathways: Wealth—improving financial health, increasing access to capital for entrepreneurs and growing black homeownership; Education—increasing college graduation rates and access to educational training opportunities for black students; and Careers—creating more opportunities for black professionals to obtain better-paying jobs in growth industries and increase career advancement. A typical day on the job includes creating Executive Management reports and collaborating with business partners across lines of businesses, to connect people with our array of products and services.

What drew you to your current department?

MM: I have always had an interest in current events, geopolitics, global markets, etc. Seeing how investment strategists take data and available information and weave it into an outlook for investors is fascinating. The production element is also appealing to me—taking the most relevant information and packaging it for our bankers/advisors.

SD: I was drawn to the overall mission and strategy of the initiative—the cross-collaboration of industries to create solutions for the socio-economic well-being of minorities. I was looking for a role that would enable me to synthesize my passion, purpose, and educational background and ABP is the perfect fit.

What’s been your most interesting or exciting experience with JPMorgan Chase?

MM: Wow, that’s hard to pick just one experience. This year, I attended JPMorgan Chase's 4th annual Women on the Move (WOTM) Leadership Day at Radio City Music Hall. WOTM is a global, firm-wide initiative with three key objectives: to expand women-run businesses, improve women's financial health, and advance women's career growth. This year’s conference featured speakers like Abby Wambach, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lindsey Vonn, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and Diane von Furstenburg, with performances by the Syncopated Ladies and Tony-nominated actress Caitlin Kinnunen. I felt so lucky and proud to sit in the audience. The event was empowering and engaging, and I walked away with actionable takeaways and insights.

SD: My most rewarding and exciting experience has been working on the Currency Conversations campaign in partnership with Essence Communications. I’ve engaged with numerous black women in discussions on what it takes to achieve strong financial health, with an emphasis on good savings habits and breaking down the taboo of not talking about money with loved ones. Financial health education is essential to wealth building and it is exciting to have conversations that will transform lives and reshape how we think about and handle money.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

MM: Don’t hold back on pursuing opportunities just because you may not believe you’re fully qualified. Some of the best career opportunities will require you to learn on the job. It’s okay to be afraid—just lean into the unknown.

SD: As Millennials, we are known for always seeking out the next opportunity. The best career advice I’ve ever received was to be patient, and not rush to find the next best thing, especially if things are not working in your favor at the moment. As my grandmother would put it, you might just be jumping out of the frying pan and into a fiery furnace. It is important to ask yourself: what should I be learning in this season and how can I change my perspective on things to have a better experience? Sometimes difficult situations help to build character so do your absolute best in your current position and the next will come.

What do you think is one essential skill that someone in the finance industry should have?

MM: Embrace change and be adaptable. I have worked on three teams since I joined JPMorgan Chase a little over a year ago. Each team is unique and has its own priorities and operating style. It's important to be flexible and adapt if necessary.

SD: Analyzing data is critical. Being able to parse out key information and understand what the data is saying is important for making recommendations and informing business strategies.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with aspirations in your industry? 

MM: Believe in yourself. I know it sounds cheesy, but self-confidence can be especially hard at our age. Everyone else seems smarter and better prepared, but the reality is self-confidence is half the struggle. If we work hard and understand that we’re always going to be learning, then courage is a bit easier to muster when meeting new colleagues or taking on new projects.

SD: There are a plethora of options in the industry. Before deciding on a role or career path, I would encourage networking. Reach out to people in the field you are most interested in so you can learn about the field and discover the various options and cultures of different companies and teams. Having more exposure can spark a new interest or uncover an unknown path.

Inspired by Madeline and Sharnell’s experience? Learn more about opportunities at JPMorgan Chase here