JPMorgan’s CEO Doesn’t Plan on Changing DEI — ‘I’m a Full-throated, Red-blooded, Patriotic, Unwoke, Capitalist CEO’

By: Georgia | Published: Jan 29, 2024

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, known for his straightforward approach, made a striking declaration at a World Economic Forum event hosted by the Female Quotient.

He said, “I’m a full-throated, red-blooded, patriotic, unwoke, capitalist CEO.” This statement elicited laughter from the audience and set the tone for his insights on the bank’s performance and its stance on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

JPMorgan's Impressive Financial Performance

Fortune reports that under Jamie Dimon’s leadership, JPMorgan has achieved remarkable financial success, recording its most profitable year ever with a net income of $50 billion.

A modern office building with the illuminated sign 'J.P.Morgan' at the top, captured during dusk. The building's glass facade reflects the fading evening sky, with some interior lights visible, indicating activity within

Source: Precious Madubuike/Unsplash

Approaching a market value of $500 billion, the bank stands as a testament to Dimon’s unorthodox yet effective leadership style. Despite external pressures, Dimon maintains a firm stance against what he terms as “ridiculous ESG, DEI groups coming at us.”

Adherence to Law and Diversity Efforts

While addressing the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, Dimon said, “They spoke, we’ll salute, we’re going to follow the law” (via Fortune).

Belonging inclusion diversity equity

Source: Canva

This commitment to legal compliance comes alongside the bank’s continued efforts to reach marginalized communities. JPMorgan plans to modify its processes around racial and gender quotas to remain within legal boundaries.

Evaluating Diversity Programs

According to Fortune, Dimon offered a candid assessment of diversity initiatives in the corporate sector.

An overhead view of four diverse hands placed side by side on a wooden table, demonstrating unity and diversity. The hands range in skin tones from dark to light, with one hand wearing a black watch

Source: Clay Banks/Unsplash

He said, “The thing about these programs is that some work and some don’t. Some companies just give it lip service.”

The Importance of Execution in DEI

Dimon emphasized the need for meticulous attention to detail in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.

Jamie Dimon, seated in a white armchair, gestures with his hands while speaking at a conference

Source: jpmorgan/X

“Your heart can be in the right place, but if you don’t really think about the execution stuff, you’re gonna fail,” he said.

A Reflection on Diversity Metrics

Recalling a past incident, Dimon shared how he challenged JPMorgan’s HR department’s approach to reporting on diversity, per information from Fortune.

A group of professionals gathered around a long conference table in a well-lit meeting room with large windows overlooking city buildings. The participants, appearing engaged and diverse in ethnicity, are focusing on laptops in front of them

Source: Christina @

He instructed them, “Don’t lump it together. Come back and show me the numbers by VPs, EDs [executive directors], MDs [managing directors], and hiring and retention.”


JPMorgan's Mixed Diversity Results

Fortune explained that upon reviewing the detailed diversity data, Dimon found a mixed performance across different groups within the bank.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is captured in a close-up image, looking up and to the side. He is wearing a dark suit with a light blue shirt and patterned tie. In the background, an EXIT sign is visible

Source: Getty Images

While some groups showed excellent progress, the representation of Black employees was only average. Dimon expressed dissatisfaction with this, stating, “That’s not JPMorgan. We don’t want to be average.”


Focused Efforts on Black Employees

This revelation led to a more focused effort on improving the representation and treatment of Black employees at JPMorgan.

Three women are sitting around a meeting table in a corporate office environment. The woman in the foreground is wearing a pink shirt and is listening intently with her hands clasped. In the middle, another woman with curly hair is speaking and gesturing, with a laptop open in front of her. To the right, the third woman, smiling at the camera, wears a black turtleneck

Source: Christina @

The departure of two high-potential Black employees highlighted the need for this focus. One employee left after being passed over for promotion three times, and another was overlooked for a key promotion but later rehired, Fortune reports.


Addressing Promotion Disparities

Fortune reveals that in exploring the reasons behind the lack of promotion for Black employees, Dimon uncovered a concerning trend.

An aerial view of a bustling urban skyline at dusk. Prominent in the scene are high-rise buildings with corporate logos, including 'J.P. Morgan' and 'Citi', signifying a financial district

Source: Matthew Foulds/Unsplash

He found that the term “platform” was often used as a criterion for promotion, particularly for Black employees. “I’d never heard the word ‘platform’ used except when we were promoting a Black person,” he said, leading to a broader review of promotion practices.


Ensuring Fairness in Career Advancement

Dimon stresses the importance of clarity and fairness in career advancement at JPMorgan. He insists on open discussions about promotions and the criteria for advancement, advocating for a transparent system.

Close-up of a business handshake between two individuals in a professional setting. One person is wearing a light blue shirt with a rolled-up sleeve, and the other is in a white shirt with a grey suit sleeve

Source: Cytonn Photography/Unsplash

Dimon is quoted as saying, “That’s not what I’m doing. [Rather,] are we honest? Do we talk about it? And if they don’t have a platform, we’ve gotta tell them.”


Expanding Recruitment at HBCUs

Fortune explains Dimon’s journey of discovery about the breadth of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) has led to a significant expansion in JPMorgan’s recruitment strategy.

Close-up of graduates' hands holding their diplomas tied with red ribbons, and some holding their black mortarboards with yellow tassels

Source: Freepik

Previously recruiting from a limited number of HBCUs, he expressed surprise upon learning there are 107 such institutions. He said, “You learn, and you reach out,” reflecting his newfound understanding and JPMorgan’s subsequent action to recruit from around 26 HBCUs.


Opportunity for All at JPMorgan

Dimon expressed his commitment to providing opportunities for all, regardless of background.

A man exits the glass doors of the JPMorgan Chase & Co. building, engrossed in his phone. The building's entrance features a sleek design with transparent doors and windows, displaying the interior and the company's signage prominently above

Source: Getty Images

“We’re hiring great kids from these places who wanna work, give a damn, want a job, wanna work hard, and wanna get ahead. God bless ’em — and they’re gonna get a chance at JPMorgan regardless of color,” he said, emphasizing the bank’s inclusive approach to talent acquisition and career development.