JP Morgan CEO Doubles Down on DEI Policies

Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon | Image by lev radin/Shutterstock

In a recent letter, JP Morgan’s Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon stated that the efforts to fund Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies will become part of the company culture.

“Our business is stronger when our economy is more inclusive. We are striving to advance economic inclusion around the world and our people drive our success,” Dimon wrote on the company’s DEI webpage. “It is through their ingenuity, excellence, and integrity that we seek to build a prosperous business.”

In recent years, CEOs of many companies have backed away from DEI efforts as the public backlash against such policies has hit their bottom line, and discrimination lawsuits have piled up, as reported by Axios.

Still, Dimon maintained that JP Morgan is committed to contributing to societal change in culture by investing in black-owned small businesses and hiring policies to advance other minority groups. Recently, the company released a new “style guide” to inform employees on the proper terms to use while doing business.

These changes included removing words such as “black list,” “manpower,” and “white glove treatment,” reported Consumer Research.

“This commitment is just the starting point,” Dimon added. “We are working to drive lasting change that can transform banking to work better for more Americans of all backgrounds. I am inspired by the work that is already happening on the ground in our communities and encouraged by what we can achieve together with community partners, policymakers, our customers and employees.”

JP Morgan’s website lists numerous goals and programs the company touts as having addressed inequality, including efforts in Texas to help minority groups find financial help to purchase homes. Through JP Morgan’s multimillion-dollar investment, Rio Bank, which serves the Rio Grande Valley, was able to provide options and clinics to help the local population with housing efforts.

“The firm was looking to invest in diverse-led institutions that are trusted in their community, have great leadership and play an important role in growing their local economy,” said Bruce DeWitt, Head of MDI Partnerships at JPMorgan Chase. “Rio Bank does all of those things and more.”

America First Legal (AFL) has been at the forefront of battles against DEI policies, which the law firm claims discriminate against white customers, as reported by Reuters. In 2022, AFL sent letters to several companies, including JP Morgan, threatening legal action if specific DEI policies were not modified to be inclusive of all people.

At the heart of the issue were two programs,  “Advancing Hispanics & Latinos” and “Advancing Black Pathways,” both of which the company has now modified to eliminate discriminatory language.

JP Morgan invested $30 billion in DEI efforts in 2020.

DEI efforts have been on the rise for decades but accelerated rapidly in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s death, per Axios. More recently, companies have backed off on promoting DEI policies, and, in some cases, have trimmed staff and changed the wording of various offerings, as previously covered by The Dallas Express.

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