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A Female CEO of a Big Bank? The Odds Are Now Greater Than Zero

  • Four of five biggest U.S. banks have two women in the wings
  • Study says more than one woman necessary to break status quo
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JPMorgan COO Matt Zames Is Leaving After 13 Years

When JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames, long considered a CEO-in-waiting, announced his decision to leave the bank last week, attention turned to other executives on the bench -- and for the first time, there’s a non-zero chance the bank’s next leader will be a woman.

That’s because two women -- Asset & Wealth Management CEO Mary Callahan Erdoes and Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake -- remain in Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s inner circle, and having more than one in the running is important, researchers say. When there’s a single female candidate among four finalists, the odds are statistically zero that she’ll get the job, according to a study from the Harvard Business Review.