Igniting JPMorgan Chase Women to Ascend with Fast Forward’s Women’s Leadership Development Program

Companies of all sizes across industries are seeing the value of helping women to ascend and working toward gender equity in leadership roles. For Sam Saperstein, Managing Director and Head of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase, partnering with the Fast Forward Group was essential to achieving her goals of empowering women to rise into more senior roles and improve the quality of their lives. 

Saperstein first participated in an in-person Fast Forward program in 2018. During the program, she wrote a Bold Vision for what success and happiness would look like for her career and life one year out. Answering the 7 questions in the Bold Vision exercise provided her clarity and focus, and it changed her career trajectory. Sharing her Bold Vision with her manager led to her landing a newly created role at the firm leading Women on the Move.

Women on the Move is a business resource group (BRG) that plays a key role in helping women thrive and succeed. It supports women-run businesses, helps female consumers to improve their financial health, and supports moving more women into senior roles at JPMorgan Chase.

Fast Forward Women is a women’s leadership development program that addresses the unique challenges women face, such as being the primary caregiver, facing unconscious biases, being less comfortable merchandising themselves and dealing with imposter syndrome.  Fast Forward Women provides a practical system to address these challenges and helps women take ownership of their careers and lives. 

Saperstein piloted the Fast Forward program for 40 global female executives at a live program in New York. Following the program, participants reported significant improvement in risk-taking, communication, confidence, relationships, well-being, and time management. 

Headshot of Sam Saperstein, head of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase, a women's leadership development program

“After the pilot, our goal was to scale the program, so we could offer it to as many women around the globe as possible,” says Saperstein. “When we challenged the Fast Forward Group to take their content, make it virtual, make it digital and make it scale. They were very eager to make it all possible.”

The result was offering three annual three-month programs that include four Power Principles from the Fast Forward curriculum

  • Declare a Bold Vision and Share It
  • Plan the Work and Work the Plan
  • Manage Your Inner Critic
  • Find Your Voice and Use it

In addition to the on-demand content, program participants join monthly group coaching calls, are paired with a buddy for peer coaching and accountability, and attend local Circles, or discussion groups hosted by JPMC colleagues who are program graduates. 

The Results of the Women’s Leadership Development Program

In the first two years, more than 12,000 people have gone through the Fast Forward Women leadership development program at JPMorgan Chase. Program participants complete a self-assessment before and after the program. On average, participants rate themselves 20% higher in areas of confidence, well-being, focus and resilience after the program.

“Women consistently tell us that it has been one of the best development programs that they have ever gone through in their career,” says Saperstein. 

To support their goals of retaining women and helping them to advance, Saperstein and her team are continuing the partnership with Fast Forward to bring the program to even more people in the years ahead.

Why Fast Forward Women

In addition to the outstanding results, Saperstein shared that there are three key things that differentiate Fast Forward Women from other women’s leadership development programs:

  1. Actionable Content – The first area that sets it apart is the content. Fast Forward Women is designed to give participants actionable content that is easily understood and directly applicable to their everyday lives. Through the program, women get tools to address the challenges they face at work and at home.
  2. Professional and Personal Development – Another key area of differentiation for their women’s development program is Fast Forward’s focus on both professional and personal success. Most programs solely focus on their career and specific skill training.  In this program, women write a Bold Vision for what extraordinary success would look like in their whole lives, providing inspiration and focus for the year ahead. Saperstein and her team recognize that personal well-being is the fuel for professional success. She sees this as a key strategy for engagement and retention.
  3. Accountability and Peer Support – Finally, each participant is paired with a Fast Forward buddy as a peer coach and accountability partner to help them stay on track during and after the program. Many buddies stay in touch long after the program and continue to support one another’s success.

“The Fast Forward program has enabled thousands of our employees to really stretch for things they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Saperstein. “It’s given them confidence to go after their dreams, it’s given them tools to really work those action plans, and it’s given them a community.”

Design your engagement to empower women to thrive and ascend by answering a few simple questions. We look forward to designing your women’s leadership development program.

You can also experience a taste of our work by signing up for a free Bold Vision introductory workshop.