Speaker 1: Logo: JP Morgan Chase. Text: thriving conversations with founders. What is the mission of your business, Blackstone Consulting? What role does diversity play in that? A black man in a business suit addresses the camera. Text: Joe Blackstone, founder and president, Blackstone Consulting.

Joe Blackstone: When we founded the company, the objective was provide quality service. We were really looking at how do we get into a field where we could potentially have some scalable, repeatable types of service that we could do? The other overriding thing that we had on day one that I really wanted to bring to the company was a diversity play associated with not only ownership of the company, but, you know, who we employed, who were our key managers.

Speaker 1: Text: diversity in Blackstone Consulting's workforce. An animated pie chart shows an overall diversity measurement of 78%. Source: Blackstone Consulting.

Joe Blackstone: One of the things that we really pride ourselves on is that diversity in delivery of service, and we think that that makes us a better company. It makes us much more tolerant. You can't do that at just the hourly levels of the staff that we have. That needs to happen in the C-suite. When you look at our C-suite, there's three women, there's four men and there's five folks that are of color. I think that's really critical to what we convey to our customers. It tells you that we not only believe that it's important that we happen to be a diverse firm, but that we think that that brings value to the customer.

Speaker 1: Text: diversity in Blackstone Consulting's workforce. An animated pie chart shows that 47% of their C-suite is female. A second graph shows a leadership diversity measurement of 71%. Source: Blackstone Consulting.

Joe Blackstone: First and foremost, I think it's really critical that you provide quality service and product. Forget being diverse. What you do is more important than what you look like. It's not enough to be able to say that you're just an African-American-owned and diverse company. You've got to be able to say, I'm diverse in terms of a company, my employees are diverse, my senior management is diverse, the things that we do in the community are effecting a diverse community, the types of things that we're doing from a family foundation perspective are impacting kids that are primarily Black and brown. And then, in addition to that, can we also impact companies that are smaller than our three-quarter-of-a-billion-dollar company? And maybe we have a little part in creating the next three-quarter-of-a-billion-dollar company.

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Joe Blackstone, Founder and President of Blackstone Consulting Inc. (BCI), knows that fostering diversity, equity and inclusion is imperative for business success. Companies like BCI that cultivate inclusive, equitable workforces are better positioned to innovate, connect with more customers and seize growth opportunities.

It’s not just an aspirational goal. 

Blackstone founded BCI in 1991 to provide janitorial services around Los Angeles. Today, BCI has grown into a global provider of facility-management services for some of the world’s largest companies. A certified minority-owned company, BCI has made DEI central to its operations and values. The company has built a team that reflects its commitment—diverse workers make up 78% of its workforce, and 71% of its leadership is diverse.

In this video, Blackstone explains why he’s made DEI foundational to his business. He also recently spoke with us about funding BCI in its earliest days, being resilient and leading with integrity.

More resources

For more founder insights, watch our “Thriving in uncertain times” series featuring Frederick Royall III, National Head of Diverse Businesses for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking, in conversation with Travis Mack and Janice Bryant Howroyd.

Need help on your DEI journey? Here are six best practices for building a DEI strategy from the ground up. We also have guidance for assembling a dedicated DEI team and making DEI a sustainable, long-term business strategy.

Go even deeper with Company Ventures’ DEI playbook for early-stage startups, developed in collaboration with J.P. Morgan.

Our commitment to DEI

JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to supporting diverse-, women- and veteran-owned businesses as they scale. Through our $30 billion Racial Equity Commitment and other initiatives, we’re providing resources and investments that help businesses overcome challenges and become more resilient.

Contact our banking team to discover how we can help your company.

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