Number of black bankers at JPMorgan drops for 6th straight year

Register now

Jamie Dimon told JPMorgan Chase's shareholders in an April 2016 letter that the biggest U.S. bank would “dramatically step up our effort” to hire black people. A year later, he said the firm was making progress and would keep it up, and this April he said the results of some efforts were encouraging.

But numbers released on the bank’s website this week show lost ground. In 2017, black employees made up a dwindling share of the company’s U.S. workforce for a sixth straight year, declining to 13.4% from 16% in 2011. Diversity at other big banks is sliding, too: Black workers now make up about one in 10 U.S. Citigroup Inc. employees, versus about one in six in 2009.

“We are continually committed to strengthening diversity across our firm at all levels,” Andrew Gray, a JPMorgan spokesman, wrote in an email.

Even after the six years of decline, JPMorgan still has a higher percentage of black employees in the U.S. than its rivals. Within job categories, black employees fell in some and rose in others, including the executive ranks, where they make up 3%. That’s up from 2.6% last year, and back to its level a decade ago.

In April’s letter, Dimon credited a bank program called Advancing Black Leaders, which focuses on hiring and development, with boosting black managing directors to 97 from 83 a year earlier. He didn’t mention the numbers that are going in the other direction.

Bloomberg News