Dan Zinkin

HeForShe: Dan Zinkin | Managing Director & Head of Tech for Global Investment & Corporate Banking, J.P. Morgan

Dan ZinkinA 22 year veteran of JPMorgan, Dan has worked in a number of roles across the Corporate & Investment Bank, bridging Operations, Strategic Projects, Business Management and, since 2010, Technology.

Dan leads technology for JPMorgan Global Investment Banking & Corporate Banking including our Digital Investment Banking strategy and core M&A, Capital Markets and Wholesale Payments Sales businesses.

In addition, Dan is broadly focused on the EMEA innovation agenda and connectivity with FinTech in the region. He spends time with clients sharing JPMorgan’s insights and activities across the fast-changing tech landscape. Dan is a passionate champion of diversity and philanthropy, bringing innovation to both areas at JPMorgan.

Dan’s most recent prior role was the EMEA lead for the Global Technology Strategy, Innovations & Partnerships team focused on developing IT strategy, innovation and emerging technology relationships aligned to the Corporate & Investment Bank and CRM strategy firmwide.

Outside of JPMorgan, Dan was a co-founder of SimGuard, a (failed) mobile tech startup in the first dotcom phase ('98-'01). Dan received a B.A. in International History & Politics from the University of Leeds, England.

Why do you support the HeForShe campaign? For example – have you witnessed the benefits that diversity can bring to a workplace?

It’s crazy we have to ask that question! Who wouldn’t support efforts to drive a more inclusive environment? The evidence is clear that more diverse firms deliver better results and morally and socially it’s clearly the right thing to do. I have personally witnessed and benefited from a more diverse workplace, seeing the culture, perspectives and impact of my team improve as we have grown our female leadership. That said it didn’t and shouldn’t take witnessing it personally to believe and take action to address the inequalities and inequities of the past. Anyone who somehow still needs persuading should go read Caroline Criado Perez’s awesome book “Invisible Women” to get some perspective.

Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?

Pretty much every injustice in the world that has been addressed (or at least made meaningful progress) has required those with power or privilege to support those without. It is incumbent on men to be key sponsors, mentors, enablers, barrier-removers and change agents.

More specifically in the workplace: do you want your company and your specific team to perform better? If so, the data is pretty clear that diversity will have a positive impact on your results.

How welcome are men in the gender equality conversation currently?

Within JPMorgan we have multiple initiatives for different levels of experience and roles (e.g. Tech versus Finance etc). My experience has been fantastic working with multiple programs and have had the opportunity to listen and learn to better understand the challenges, as well as provide mentoring, support and lead initiatives to drive change.

Externally it takes a little more effort, which is fair, to demonstrate you are there to help and drive change, not just build profile or talk. Incidentally, I do think the proliferation of overlapping initiatives is partly due to people wanting to be the leader and get the credit and over time I think to really drive change there will need to be some scaling up of the most impactful organizations.

In any case, men are likely still more welcome in these conversations than women are in many business contexts, so let’s focus on fixing that.

Do you think groups/networks that include the words “women in…” or “females in…” make men feel like gender equality isn’t really their problem or something they need to help with?

It is a really interesting question. I co-founded and ran a program (Associate Women’s Program) for almost 6yrs at JPMorgan for mid-career women specifically targeting the next promotion and ever year 2 things happened: at least one female participant would tell me that they resented the fact we had created this program specifically for women as they did not “need special help” to progress; and some number of men would complain to me how unfair it was that they did not have the same help to get promoted. I would always answer simply by pointing them to the data showing clearly that historically men were more likely to get promoted (outperforming their proportion of any mid/senior level). The program made a measurable difference, but there remains a long way to go.
More broadly, I think the growth of programs such as JPMorgan’s “Men as Allies” does bring home the message that men need to play a role but needs to reach more people.

What can businesses do to encourage more men to feel welcome enough to get involved in the gender debate?

I think successful men and women in business get involved in many things where they don’t initially feel welcome. They dive in because they see a problem or opportunity to grow or protect their business. Diversity needs to be seen through that lens. It is an imperative, not soft, side issue.

Do you currently mentor any women or have you in the past?

I mentor multiple women, some formally and others informally. Mentoring done well is a two-way street and mentors learn as much as they share.
I also led JPMorgan to become the sponsor of Finding Ada’s Network – a mentoring platform – where 50 JPMorgan female employees mentor a diverse range of external women in STEM.

Have you noticed any difference in mentoring women – for example, are women less likely to put themselves forward for jobs that are out of their comfort zones or are women less likely to identify senior roles that they would be suited for?

I have personally seen real-life confirmation of many of the clichés we hear about women opting out of promotions, or not being willing to ask for what they deserve (roles, pay, opportunities etc). Interestingly I have also noticed a misplaced (in my view) belief that the “right thing” will happen without them having to speak up or make it happen. Maybe as teams become more diverse, with more women in leadership roles noticing things that today’s predominantly male leaders may miss, that will become true, but for now, the old rules generally apply and hope/belief is not a good strategy.

WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of HeForShe interviews, including Christian Edelmann, George Brasher, Stephen Mercer and many more. You can read about all the amazing men championing gender equality here