Some CEOs are pushing workers to return to the office, but it could come with a cost: hurting diversity
Jamie Dimon seems invested in supporting people from underrepresented backgrounds.
But Dimon appears more bearish when it comes to another measure that's been shown to promote diversity: remote work.
"It doesn't work for young kids or spontaneity or management," Dimon said in a recent interview with CNBC.
Dimon has also said that remote work can "help women," given the caregiving duties that disproportionately fall upon them. "Modify your company to help women stay home a little," he said. And he said it's reasonable for employees who work in jobs like research and coding to work remotely.
"Remote work offers disabled employees the chance to work, but in their own homes, which provides greater flexibility, accessibility, savings in commuting time and expenses, and even privacy that may be needed to address medical issues that cannot be addressed in the workplace," Arlene Kanter, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, wrote in a Harvard Law School blog post last year.
The shift to remote work has been especially helpful for people with physical difficulties and mobility limitations. "The ability to get to work via this 10-second commute is to their advantage," Ameri said.
After Spotify adopted a remote-work option in 2021, Travis Robinson, the head of diversity and inclusion at the audio streamer, explained how the policy helps people living outside large cities.
A person who lives in a low-income, rural area can now work for an employer based in a major city, where the cost of living might have prevented them from otherwise doing so, he told Insider.
And while there are often benefits to seeing colleagues face-to-face, for some underrepresented workers, there's a reprieve that comes from getting to work remotely.
Some Black workers report facing less discrimination and fewer microaggressions working from home than when they're at the office.
"I do not foresee myself ever returning to an office," Leron Barton, a writer who describes himself as someone with two decades of experience in corporate America, wrote in a Slate essay titled "I'm Black. Remote Work Has Been Great for My Mental Health."
McKinsey & Co. reported in April that people from marginalized communities were more likely to prefer and stay at jobs that offer remote or hybrid-work setups. Black employees were 14% more likely than their white counterparts to say they would leave a job if remote work was not available, the consultancy said. LGBTQ employees, meanwhile, were 24% more likely to leave than their heterosexuals peers.