Despite high profile jobs, women executives still rare
Whenever a woman is promoted to a C-level position at a premiere bank, it is always grounds for congratulations, and its no different for Marianne Lake, the newly minted CFO at JPMorgan Chase.
You've got to love CEO Jamie Dimon's comments in the wake of the announcement. He said she is an, "outstanding choice for this critically important role."
The fact that she's a woman "wasn't a consideration at all," he added. "We were simply looking for the best person for the job."
She would indeed appear to be the most qualified, and yet it is almost impossible not to make a statement on such an occasion about the state of female executives on Wall Street. There remains a dearth of such executives. There are now two women on the operating committee at JPMorgan Chase, which recently lost Ina Drew and Heidi Miller.
As for other banks, no women report directly to Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat. Morgan Stanley has one woman in its operating committee. At the other end of the spectrum, Bank of America has four women on its operating committee.
At some point, people will no doubt revive the debate about when a woman will be tapped to run a big bulge-bracket bank. Currently, the closest we have is Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of Keycorp. For many reasons, I wish Lake well and look forward to seeing her on this list soon. I also look forward to the day when a big promotion at this level for a female executive doesn't seem out of the ordinary.