Goldman Sachs pledges $ 10 billion to help empower black women

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Goldman Sachs said Wednesday it would allocate $ 10 billion over the next decade to promoting racial justice and economic opportunities for black women.

The new initiative, called One Million Black Women, will focus on areas such as access to capital, job creation, financial health and workforce development. Goldman said the effort was “the largest announcement of its kind in size and scope”.

Goldman is working with black women-led organizations to better understand the obstacles facing black women.

The bank will invest $ 100 million in philanthropic capital over the next 10 years. The targeted financing takes the form of direct investments and grants. The company said initial investments are underway.

The program aims to make a positive impact on the lives of at least one million black women by 2030. Former Foreign Minister Condoleezza Rice is on his advisory board.

Goldman’s announcement comes as employees, shareholders and society call American companies to do more to combat systemic racism. A number of companies have announced new measures to promote diversity and inclusion, but it is still unclear whether these initiatives will lead to real progress.

In connection with its funding announcement, Goldman released a report entitled “Black Womenomics,” which sought to quantify the gender and racial biases that black women have faced and continue to face.

Like countless studies before, the results show that racial inequality is not only a social but also an economic problem.

The research found that black women are paid 35% less than white men. Closing this gap could create between 1.2 and 1.7 million jobs in the US and increase GDP by up to $ 450 billion annually.

Progress in closing the wage gap has stalled. The pay gap between black and white women is 15% compared to 5% in the early 1980s. Differences were then attributed to education, professions and industry. While these factors are still relevant, barriers that are difficult to measure, such as differences in career opportunities, play a bigger role.

“Largely due to lower incomes and limited access to capital, black Americans are much less likely than whites to own high-yielding assets, including homes, stocks, and especially their own businesses,” the report said the middle black household has almost 90% less wealth than the middle white household.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the challenges for black women. Employment data for February showed an unemployment rate of 5.9% for women as a whole, while the figure for black women was 8.9%.

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