Thasunda Duckett Makes History as the First Black Woman on JPMorgan's Operating Committee
Photo Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune

Thasunda Duckett Makes History as the First Black Woman on JPMorgan's Operating Committee

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is going through what is considered the biggest expansion of its leadership group in years, and they’re making history while doing so.

This week, the leading global financial services firm announced half a dozen new hires of executives added to the firm’s operating committee, including Chase Consumer Banking Chief Executive Officer Thasunda Brown Duckett — making her the first Black woman added to the committee, ESSENCE reports.

“This is a reminder that I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams,” Duckett told ESSENCE. “I like to say that I’m on the shoulders of giants. And it was the cooks and the janitors and the secretaries who introduced my melanin to corporate America that now, fast-forward, I actually have the opportunity to be on the operating committee.”

ESSENCE shares that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon opted to expand the company’s Operating Committee to include the heads of their largest businesses.

Duckett — who oversees a banking network of over $600 billion in deposits, 5,000+ branches, 16,000+ ATMs, and 50,000 employees — helped Chase navigate a digital and physical transformation, which contributed to its No. 1 ranking in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power, No. 1 mobile app, and top-visited online portal ranking among U.S. retail banks, according to its website.

ESSENCE reports that as a member of the Operating Committee, Duckett will have increased responsibility for the company’s overall management, which also includes implementing the firm’s strategy and enhancing company culture. As a result, she will also have more exposure to firm-wide issues and an opportunity to work directly with other members of the senior leadership team.

Duckett’s new role will now expand her CEO of Chase Consumer Banking title to include additional duties from her Operating Committee status.

In regards to how she plans to make an impact on the Operating Committee, Duckett told ESSENCE:

“I think everything for me has always been anchored. My purpose is to inspire and make an impact. And so clearly, having the opportunity to be on the Operating Committee at JPMorgan Chase, a lot of gratitude to Jamie Dimon and Gordon Smith to have this opportunity.”

Duckett also revealed her new position at the company will allow her to have a seat “at the table and having a voice not just for the business” but across the firm as well.

Duckett has hope that her new appointment will inspire young people to strive to aim high and achieve their goals as well.

“We can be at the highest levels of corporate America, and so I hope that young people of all backgrounds, little Black and brown girls and boys, will be able to see someone who looks like me, someone who has this unbelievable passion for saying ‘I too, can ascend. I, too, can be a CEO. I, too, can be on the Operating Committee. I, too, can someday do whatever it is that I aspire,” she said.