The JUST Report: Jamie Dimon Lays Out the Business Case for DEI

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Amidst all the backlash on ESG and DEI, it’s been interesting to track what’s actually going on behind the scenes at the corporations we track – and why.

Take DEI. It seems many companies are continuing privately in some way, shape or form with programs they instituted in 2020, even if they talk about it differently in public. The percentage of companies we track disclosing detailed employee demographics, for example, or reporting on pay equity analyses, has increased at double digit levels. Corporate appetite for working discreetly on DEI standards and programming is also holding steady. At the same time, many have become much more circumspect about how they communicate on the topic, especially to business and investor audiences. As former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao this week noted: “A lot of companies that weren’t serious about diversity took the opportunity to shutter their diversity actions. But they weren’t serious anyways”.

This is why it was interesting to see Jamie Dimon’s comments in his widely read annual letter to shareholders recently. “We’re thoughtfully continuing our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts,” he wrote, adding that “We would like to provide a fair chance for everyone to succeed”.  

Jamie’s stature, as well as his direct and candid communication style, make this noteworthy. Like most CEOs, he wants access to the best talent. He wants to make sure all his people are productive, engaged and have equal access to opportunity. He needs to continually innovate, pursue growth and keep his customers and his shareholders happy. Done well, that is the DEI business imperative. Here, again, JUST’s own analysis lends support. As of March 28th 2024, one of the JUST Capital index concepts, DEI Leaders, has outperformed the Russell 1000 Equal Weighted Index by 6.2% since Dec 31 2021.

Whatever your view on this subject, most would agree the reason leaders are forging ahead (behind the scenes) is because it can make good business sense. 

Be well, 


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(Getty Images/Bloomberg)

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