Even after they’ve moved on to new opportunities, every Avantee leaves their mark on our culture. Jevonna, we’re proud of everything we did together and we know you’ll keep thriving! You’re in the Avant Alumni Club for life.
Former Chief People Officer
With Avant 2020-2023
What’s it like to work @Avant? We asked Jevonna for her take on our culture, and here’s what she said:
1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?
One thing I really enjoy about our culture is that we are a flat organization. In a lot of institutions, your title is what gets you a seat at the table. Here, we do not put heavy emphasis on hierarchy. It could literally be your first day here and if you have the facts and an idea for how to help the organization solve a problem, you can have an audience with the CEO that day. Avant is inclusive and open and curious to hear from people at all levels within the organization.
This is a culture of problem solvers, and we want to win. All of us. We want to work together to tackle any challenge that would get in the way of us dominating!
2. Why are you happy/successful here?
Two reasons. One, I come from humble beginnings, and I truly believe in our vision of lowering the barriers to access to credit and financial services for the everyday borrower. That’s what attracted me to the organization, and since I’ve been here, that’s what we’re actually tracking towards. It makes me very happy to see that we are consistent between what we say we do and what we actually do in serving the underserved.
Two – I have autonomy. My skillset and capabilities and experiences are trusted, and I’m encouraged to be entrepreneurial. I understand where the boundaries are and within them, I’m completely autonomous. That makes me very happy.
3. What’s your favorite thing about your role?
My favorite thing is the way I’ve been welcomed. My identities as a woman, as an African-American, as a mother—Avant embraces all of it. I so appreciate that I feel seen by my company, and can be an advocate for others to use their voices, too. The Talent Team is great at this: not only have I been seen, but they have allowed me to see others that work around me. They enable me to understand all the great qualities, opportunities, and challenges people go through.
The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, for example, has really leaned into uncomfortable conversations and the complexities of Blackness. Like, I remember reading one of the DE&I newsletters and noticing that Black excellence was on display. I thought “oh my god, I’m being seen.” Often in this industry, we talk about Blackness in the context of need: financial illiteracy, the education gap, wealth disparities. But there’s so much Black excellence that exists, too.
I’m a tough cookie, I’ll tell you right now, and seeing Black excellence being socialized in our organization made me tear up. That type of messaging can make such a difference. It really, really touched me as a human. Avant not only embraces me, but helps us all be able to see each other, too.
4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was going to be a lawyer, I was never going to get married or have kids, I was going to drive a red Ferrari, and I was going to have a huge law firm full of powerful men and women that took over New York City. And….now I’ve been married for 23 years, I’ve got 3 children, I drive a BMW, and I’m in Operations 🙂