Presented By: Partner Insights
Industry Spotlight: Q&A with JPMorgan Chase’s Sharmi Sobhan
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a global financial services firm and leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. The Firm’s Community Development Banking business, within Commercial Banking, provides various financial solutions that support the growth of affordable housing and development of low- and moderate-income communities across the U.S., including construction and permanent loans, new markets and historic tax credit financing, letters of credit and other products to support bond financing. Commercial Observer’s Partner Insights team sat down with Sharmi Sobhan, Executive Director within Chase’s Community Development Banking group, to discuss the current state of the commercial real estate finance industry for women.
Commercial Observer’s Partner Insights: Financial services in commercial real estate is the second-largest specialization for women in the industry. What do you feel has attracted you and so many other women to this sector?
Sharmi Sobhan: There is nothing more gratifying than the bricks and mortar of real estate and what makes it even more special is knowing that people who need a decent and affordable home can benefit. A lot of women, including myself, are interested in the affordable housing sector in particular, and enjoy helping create and preserve needed affordable homes. The industry is very collaborative and presents an opportunity to work closely with important city, state and agency players, all working together to make a real impact in local communities.
In a historically male-dominated industry, how does one win their seat at the table in today’s environment?
Sobhan: It’s important for everyone to work hard, speak up and raise your hand when you have an idea or insight to share. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and share your voice — it has value for your team and industry!
How does increasing diversity in an organization impact a business’ success?
Sobhan: Diversity in any organization fosters innovation. It brings different perspectives to the table that everyone can benefit from and connects us to the communities around us. In fact, studies have shown that diverse companies perform better and attract top talent. People want to work in an inclusive environment where they can learn from their peers and share experiences from their unique backgrounds.
Join Sharmi Sobhan and other CRE professionals at the 3rd Annual Women in Real Estate Forum on November 12, 2019. Click here for more information.