Jamie Dimon on Diversity & energizing office culture - finally someone explains it

pls. 1st comment responder clearly didn't read the post (pls fix this :) ) nor watched Jamie's words because they quickly turned this into a race thing when my post is not about race so pls. read my post and watch the 5mins of video starting from location given below.

if this is the level of quick reading skills among our angry buddies on here, that explains a lot!

I have lurked here for a while - helped me a lot when I was recruiting back in the day but have always been disturbed by the attitudes towards "diverse candidates" on this forum. As someone who touches recruitment, the dissonance between the world of URM communities and this forum is also very jarring. I recently came across an interview with the man himself, Jamie Dimon which really reassured me that there are leaders in our industry who bring light to this issues around diversity.

From the 31:50 mark and 50:20 mark

At the end of the day, diversity should be a really simple proposition - treat people as you would want to be treated. Create blind and fair processes for getting talent - if clients come to expect that the very best are advising them, they will not care about such person's temperament, religious beliefs, gender, race, ethnicity, pedigree, etc. I always say that none of us care about the temperament of our pilot or the gender of our surgeon when we are in the emergency room or how cool or connected our dentist is, but all these suddenly matter in clubby corporate environments where "culture" is used to select rich kids, cool kids, smooth-talkers, sprinkles of "diverse" candidates.

Jamie Dimon may not be what he preaches( I don't know the man) but he really gets it - Having worked in corporate, it is so weird to me how majority groups get so comfortable with themselves and won't even acknowledge other folks.

As a mentor at work, I have coached a (white male) intern who was not into the drinking culture among analysts and therefore was so isolated because folks decided he was weird and stopped adding him to anything (no he was not "weird"), a black intern who told me that his (insert non-black) seatmate wouldn't even talk to him,  that when he invited folks to coffee outside of official coffee chats, they didn't reciprocate (no one is that boring if they are initiating coffee chats). I imagine this is exponentially worse for black women. Weirdly enough some of the URM in banking (white women and Asians) with higher representation in corporate show similar patterns in how they interact with those less represented - pay attention to his in your teams.

Again, Jamie correctly diagnosed this in this interview which is a must-watch for people who are working to foster positive environments in banking.

Not sure where humans went wrong, but if we all did what Jamie says (make everyone feel like they are part of the team in ways small and large, simply include that "weird kid" or "black girl" or "gay guy" or "white chick" the same way you would want to be included if you found yourself on an island where you were the minority, over time there'd really be no need for the complexity we now have around diversity - whether it is gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, age, personality.

Love and peace!

Comments (70)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 28, 2021 - 9:16pm

This is the pleasant public face of "diversity and inclusion". It's about treating people right! These people are often excluded, here's a handful of anecdotes! We need to foster "positive environments"! But literally anyone who has been on the other side of recruiting knows that's total horse shit and not at all the way "diversity" initiatives work in banking or any other selective profession. Reality is more like:

  • Diversity candidates tend to have worse backgrounds (test scores, GPA) than their same-school peers because they benefitted from affirmative action policies when applying to their institution. This is very, very true for URMs at both the analyst and associate level. It's similarly true for female candidates at the MBA level (not as true at the analyst level). 
  • In spite of this, banks have implemented soft quotas for race and gender (genuinely baffling how this is legal at all, but hey)
  • Minorities aren't treated any differently. Women can be given the unavoidable reality of human sexuality and the MeToo era - male seniors might not feel comfortable mentoring them. But generally, most juniors are buddy-buddy with each other regardless of ethnicity or gender. 
  • HR parasites intervene in a heavy handed fashion to push through diversity candidates regardless of ability. Have a fantastic candidate with a great personality, great GPA, impressive standardized test scores, perfect interviews detailing why he wants the job, and who has crushed all technical questions? Oh, sorry. You already hired a white guy and an Asian guy. You need to go superday an arbitrary list of diversity candidates all of whom have shittier stats. 
  • Banks give out special diversity bonu... er "scholarships" to diversity candidates. Not only can you moonwalk into your program with shittier stats and a shittier background then zip through an accelerated recruiting process, they will literally give you a massive bonus that nobody else gets! 
  • The freebies don't end after the school application and recruitment. Once securing the job, promotion is far easier. This is even more pronounced with the difficult promotions like Director and MD. 
  • Most diversity candidates at target schools come from extremely privileged backgrounds. I'm sure it was incredibly tough growing up as the daughter of upper middle class professionals. Oh the horrors you've seen.  
  • In spite of the insane advantages at every point in the process as detailed above, and in spite of facing zero real hardship, a significant percentage of these people go all in on the D&I grift racket. I will say that this is far less common in IB than in consulting or law. Most diversity candidates in IB that i've encountered take their fuckhuge unearned advantage quietly and with a degree of humility. I won't fault anyone for taking and grabbing every advantage they can, even if it isn't particularly fair (people with family connections certainly don't feel bad about it). But the people posting D&I propaganda on Linkedin who were gifted a job at Mckinsey or BCG should be thrown off of a cliff.  

Jamie says this stupid shit because he's a public-facing representative of JP Morgan and this dumb as fuck woke religion is now the dominant cultural zeitgeist. He says it because he has to say it. 

You don't work in banking. Fuck off. This D&I shit is pure grift, and anyone who has spent time on the other side knows it.

Oct 28, 2021 - 9:44pm

Impressive insights about banking recruitment from an associate 1! You even have insights into MD level promotions!

You lost me at how easy it is at the MD level given how overflowing minorities and women are in IB - really? 

And really took the conversation in an very different direction! whew! and never addressed anything beyond minorities and women - I wonder why? All the white guys in high finance totally deserved it, ainit?

also, what about what jamie said do you disagree with?

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 28, 2021 - 10:22pm

Literally none of this was responsive to anything I said. Also i'm an Associate 2 (name needs updating), i.e. i've been involved in recruiting from the employed side for three cycles and saw it from the recruit side for two cycles. Five. Same story the entire time. And yeah, anyone who works in banking pays attention to Director and MD promotes. You would know this if you worked in banking. But you don't. There are few seniors in banking who are women or URMs because the pool of people who are both 1) Qualified enough and 2) Interested in the career is trivially small. Anyone checking either box who is both competent enough and wants to stick around can stick around. The same isn't true for white or asian males - promotions become highly selective. 

And what do you mean I never addressed "anything beyond minorities and women"? Isn't that the point of the topic you made? Diversity candidates? Why wouldn't I address the point of the topic you made? And no, all of the white guys in high finance absolutely don't deserve it - when I pointed out people with "family connections" as having an unfair advantage, most of those people are white. Odd that you forgot Asians, but hey. We both know why - they don't fit the narrative. They're not white, and yet they're incredibly successful. Best just to ignore them. 

On Jamie Dimon - any points in particular that you're asking about? It was mostly him bragging about the quotas they've filled. Invite women to golf events. Ok, cool, sure. 

Oct 28, 2021 - 11:15pm

We hear you. Quick point, when you ask how it is "legal." As a former attorney I can tell you it is required to have these quotas, super sized HR departments with teeth, and to use social media and PR flacks to mouth these platitudes. The second a bank (or any large company, non profit, or educational institution considered prestigious) stops these practices they will be fined, lose contracts, lose access to particular sources of capital, and face a media onslaught. The federal government (Dept Labor, EEOC, DOJ) makes this state of affairs the way it is.

Oct 29, 2021 - 2:21pm
  • Minorities aren't treated any differently. Women can be given the unavoidable reality of human sexuality and the MeToo era - male seniors might not feel comfortable mentoring them. But generally, most juniors are buddy-buddy with each other regardless of ethnicity or gender. 

As a minority, from my personal experience, the first part of that sentence is not true. Won't comment on the rest, I don't like the way diversity recruiting is done but frankly like to stay away from the culture wars.  

It's not a universal hostility, but man it's not that black and white. I can share my experiences and believe me, it's echoed by a lot of others. I've had peeps in the bullpen consistently not acknowledge my presence, I have had bankers I worked for do the same. It's fucked watching peers snake credit because apparently "those people don't like conflict".

There are tons of small things. I have been questioned on "cultural" fit, whatever the fuck that means. I have been told I lack "insert country name" experience despite having BB experience in two of the global hubs. Me and other minorities have been excluded from bullpen events where the demographic is "monolithic". I could go on and on. I will note this is not a white people thing.

Again, this is not universal. Majority of the people I've worked with are amazing, smart and treat me like everyone else. But there is a minority, and that is not ok. I now work somewhere where they only color they care about is money and I don't face any of that anymore.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 29, 2021 - 2:47pm

Couple of responses. 

1. Do you have an international background? I initially had a caveat saying that people from international backgrounds are an exception and are treated differently. Not fair, but also not surprising - if Americans relocated to Japan and took a job there they would feel similar pressures. 

2. I'm not saying this necessarily applies to you (I don't know the exact details of your experiences), but there has been a general trend of people attributing any sleight that everyone experiences (senior bankers ignoring you, people stealing credit, people doubting your ability to accomplish a task, on and on) to racial or gender animus. People's perceptions that they are being discriminated against have risen in lockstep with the shift in liberal ideology towards wokeism and people telling them 24/7 that everyone is racist or sexist and trying to screw them over. 

Controversial
Oct 30, 2021 - 9:59pm
  • In spite of the insane advantages at every point in the process as detailed above, and in spite of facing zero real hardship, a significant percentage of these people go all in on the D&I grift racket...

And for the millionth time, we have another anti-diversity bro "speaking his truth." You mention URMs having "insane advantages at every point of the process..." That process you speak of is, what, a few weeks to a month of interviews? What about all the shit and second class treatment they had to put up with from their birth to the start of the interview process? And what do you mean when you say they've faced zero real hardship? Just because some black kid comes from an upper middle class family doesn't mean they magically get to escape all the crap black people are faced with. Sure, they avoid a majority of trouble from say a George Floyd type who came from poverty and unfortunately wasn't well educated, but they still get profiled on occasion and can't control everyone's biases towards them.

Your attitude is exactly what OP was getting at when they mentioned that majority groups get so comfortable with themselves that they totally disregard others simply as humans. Of course URMs are going to have weaker stats when the Majority group creates the tests and runs the schools. I hope you were just drunk or having a bad day and needing to vent, because I'm not sure how diversity programs are directly shafting you so badly that you felt the need to post this diatribe against URMs on a random forum.

You're extremely delusional if you think URMs are suddenly sitting on cloud nine in society thanks to some bank's diversity program.

Oct 31, 2021 - 3:55pm

You are exaggerating the push for diversity that exists in these institutions. I say this as a Catholic Irish (although some Brits call me N***er, no lie).

The "White" culture still overwhelmingly dominates who gets a job or not.

Jamie Dimon was conservative, if anything.

Times are changing. Either you change, or get left behind.

Get it?

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Oct 31, 2021 - 4:24pm

Just wanted to say you contradicted yourself multiple times in this; how can diverse candidates come from more privileged backgrounds but also have worse scores/backgrounds simultaneously?

You also seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it's like to be a woman in finance in the "MeToo era". If a man is legitimately afraid to mentor a female colleague, that shows something about the man rather than the woman.

Nov 3, 2021 - 6:53pm

I've heard a lot of this about diverse candidates having it super easy. Haven't seen any of it work out in my favor so far. Haven't gotten a superday or even a call back from most places. Yet I have a high GPA and an MBA. The only thing I don't have is that I didn't go to a target school. All these swarms to URMs that are super under qualified seems like a myth to me or some reason I'm being counted as a white guy? Most firms won't even interview me and I've applied to hundreds.

Oct 28, 2021 - 11:26pm

My problem with the diversity quotas are, the children of the well connected will always find a job in any field. Now the men who came from families who were scraping by are pooled into the same boat with people who came from multi millionaire parents. In Canadian IB from my understanding, they have two interview windows one for women and the rest for women and men. Basically you have a situation where women in Canada make up 60% of the undergraduate students, but they choose not to enter fields like finance so big corps are recruiting and promoting them.

I went to a top undergraduate in Canada, by 2030 my school estimates 65%-68% of students will be women, this means a lot of men are being left out of society. When I lost my job because my group was laid off it was kinda nerve racking hearing people call it a "secession" when just in 2015 when Canada experienced a recession majority of the jobs lost were lost by men. No one divided people back then but now it seems fashionable.

I don't talk about this because you'll be labeled as anti progress. Which is a big deal in my area.

Oct 31, 2021 - 4:05pm

No one gives a fuck about you.  Haven't you figured that out yet?  People talk about all kinds of shit in comment threads.  They rarely stick to the OPs topic.  Also your take on D&I screams corporate HR hack.  You will be shit on for your opinions. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 28, 2021 - 11:54pm

Here we go again, with diversity, I know kids who expolited diversity program even through they are well connected and rich, diversity programs needs a reform where they solely focus on recruiting kids who come from a poor, i.e check how much their family makes, are they near poverty level etc. instead of doing this ethicity bullshit you can be privileged and be black, women Hispanic, whereas if you target socioeconomics you are targeting every ethnicity

Oct 29, 2021 - 1:14pm

kks2003

another one who got into IB but cannot read (has low attention to detail) but sure it's other kids who didn't deserve to get in! once again, address the topic - u may learn sthg!

you forgot to add "noma sayin'" (know what I'm saying?) at the end.  

Oct 29, 2021 - 12:08am

another one who got into IB but cannot read (has low attention to detail) but sure it's other kids who didn't deserve to get in! once again, address the topic - u may learn sthg!

Oct 29, 2021 - 1:15pm

kks2003

another one who got into IB but cannot read (has low attention to detail) but sure it's other kids who didn't deserve to get in! once again, address the topic - u may learn sthg!

Just because you received a 2.8 GPA (weighted and inflated) in non-STEM psychology or Comp. Lit. with all books in translation does not mean you can "read" in any sense others on this forum would understand the word.

Oct 29, 2021 - 10:45am

We should all take moral guidance from unscrupulous corporate executives. If Jamie Dimon says that we need more representation of jabbed non-conforming LGBT+ fat indigenous bodies of color then clearly he is correct. He clearly is just looking out for us, and as a billionaire bank executive, I can trust he's not out of touch. It's executives like him that make me trust the experts in the sacred halls of our democracy! 

Never mind all of this shit...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPMorgan_Chase#Controversies

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

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  • Research Associate in AM - Equities
Oct 30, 2021 - 12:36am

OP you are a true autist, shut the f up. You haven't worked a day in your life in IB or been part of the recruitment process, don't spout your virtue signaling PC shit without realizing how 'diversity' recruiting is actually done 

go complain about your perceived micro aggressions on reddit, but don't bring that dumb shit here 

Oct 30, 2021 - 10:12am

JP has no room to speak on social issues given their long history of anti-semitism and participation in the slave trade, this is just corporate bullshit for public relations. What does a giant international bank have to say on social issues? Nothing of import, unless you are after that ESG $$$.

Most banks are owned by white people, banks didn't even give home or business loans to black people back in the day. If these people really want to help society, they should give away their wealth and power to the poor. Even Solomon Brothers back in the day had trading floors split by ethnicity and religion, if anything capitalism reenforces racist power structures.

Feels like that scene in American Psycho where Bateman had his "oh-so compassionate" monologue about social issues. Dr. King was a socialist, he was anti-capitalism. It's like listening to the POTUS give a speech about the moral failings of war crimes.

Oct 31, 2021 - 12:43am

Do you know what I think is sad about all the bullshit of "diversity" iniciatives? The worse is that this is fucking up even more with poor people.

I grow up very poor, worked with poverty almost all my life and poverty aliviation is a very important ideal for me and all these white-collar woke diversity bs taking over the focus of the lefty to help out people in needy makes me pissed. The republican party become the party of working people in america, how fucked up is that? The left had lost tens of millions of votes of poor families and no one seems to think that maybe there is a problem with the plataform. It is even worse on other countries, one of the most social democrat countries, France, are going to have a election with basically two right wing candidates because the left do not understand anymore that economy well being is the defining factor of voting when you barely have enough money to eat and rent.

For the video, how long have you been working?Companies do not have morals/Jamie Dimon do not have a moral, he does care about diversity. He cares about maximizing profit(as he should)..

Edit: I still consider myself a democrat(I do not vote in the US), but if the plataform does not change and widespread media/academia/big corporate do not stop this gender/race madness we are going to see a push to the right worldwide.

  • Analyst 3+ in HF - EquityHedge
Oct 31, 2021 - 3:51pm

I'm not aware of most banks or other financial institutions specific diversity programs, but I can speak to what I saw at a BB bank several years ago. Each year, we would get a stack of ~200 resumes from my alma mater and be asked to pick ~20 kids for first round interviews. We were asked to pick roughly 10 men and 10 women. This would've been fine, but the stack of resumes was literally 80%+ men so we end up taking the top 5 - 10% of male applicants and the top 25 - 35% of female applicants. Pretty clear what the implications were once everyone hit the desk. This was just one bank's practice nearly a decade ago, but it always rubbed me the wrong way. I don't know why we received so many more male applicants than female, but if you really want to address these types of inequities, then you have to start way earlier. 

Oct 31, 2021 - 6:57pm

AS A BLACK MALE At a target school. I want you to kindly fuck off. You are never gonna know what it is like to grow up in the hood and see niggas toting guns at yo school. You never gonna know what it's like to not have a dad. Most of yall niggas out here came from so much money. I came out de mud like some cleats that football players wear. I'm sorry If my GPA and sat weren't up to speed. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 1, 2021 - 4:53pm

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