Black women are breaking glass ceilings in corporate America. Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, has been appointed to join Nike Inc.’s board of directors, the retail brand announced.
Duckett, a Texas native, spearheads the retail banking division at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chase Consumer Banking encompasses $800 billion in deposits and investments and has nearly 50,000 employees. Duckett, who is the first Black person to be at the helm of the Chase Consumer Banking arm, has led the expansion of the financial institution’s retail locations. She has been a fierce advocate for financial inclusion and has sponsored initiatives like JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways program which is centered on helping African Americans overcome barriers to generating wealth by providing communities with accessible resources to foster economic growth. She also sponsored a project dubbed The Fellowship Initiative which provides social, academic and emotional support for young men of color. Prior to becoming CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, Duckett served as CEO of Chase Auto Finance and a National Retail Sales Executive for Chase Mortgage Banking.
The University of Houston alum—who also holds an MBA from Baylor University—was tapped to join the board for her expertise surrounding the everchanging landscape of consumer trends and behavior. “Thasunda’s expertise in leading digital and physical transformation in retail banking will be invaluable in helping Nike further deepen consumer relationships,” Mark Parker, Chairman, President and CEO of Nike, Inc., said in a statement. “She is a dynamic and forward-thinking leader, and we are delighted that she has joined the board.”
Duckett credits her career success to those who have broken barriers before her. “I am on shoulders of giants. I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams,” she said during a speech at an event hosted by the Women’s Bond Club of New York. “I am one generation removed from segregation. It was the janitors, it was the cooks, it was the secretaries who put little cracks in the door that created the space over time to say, ‘I am a CEO.’”
Duckett’s appointment comes at a time where racial and gender diversity on corporate boards is lacking. Reuters reported that between the years 2016 and 2018, African Americans only accounted for 5 percent of new board directors. According to a study by Deloitte and the Alliance for Board Diversity, the percentage of women on boards is 22.5 percent.