J.P. Morgan Chase's Wall Street division just promoted 117 people to its highest rank of managing director, and a record number of women earned the title.
Of this year's incoming class of managing directors, 26% were women, up from 18% last year, according to a person with knowledge of the figures. Of these 30 women, seven made use of the bank's maternity leave policy in the past two years, the person said.
Bank CEOs from J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon to Goldman Sachs head David Solomon have said that hiring and promoting women and minorities are priorities for their trading and advisory businesses, which are still dominated by men, especially at senior levels.
For instance, last month Goldman expanded a year-old program to hire more junior bankers from underrepresented groups. By aiming for half of all new analysts and entry-level associates hired in the U.S. to be women, 11 percent black, and 14 percent Latino, the bank hopes that more women and minorities will eventually make it to the firm's senior roles.
At J.P. Morgan, the world's biggest investment bank by revenue, the MD distinction is relatively rare: The bank has about 1,600 MDs, or just 3% of the 54,697 employees in its corporate and investment bank.
"Achieving the MD distinction does not come easily, but is earned through dedication to clients and colleagues, hard work and a commitment to our shared culture," Daniel Pinto, head of J.P. Morgan's corporate and investment bank, said in a staff memo. "We expect these newest senior leaders to continue to help us drive innovation and disrupt the status quo as we build our business of tomorrow."
The promotions happened across J.P. Morgan's sprawling operations, from investment banking to trading and sales. A relatively new category, digital and platform services, made up 13% of the promotions, indicating the importance of technology to the bank.