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Goldman Sachs unveiled on Wednesday the One Million Black Women initiative. This commitment includes investing $10 billion over the next decade in businesses and organizations that benefit Black women. In addition, the bank also will commit $100 million to philanthropy. This is in an effort to address the dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have endured for generations.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said in an interview with Essence magazine that the initiative is an extension of the firm’s values. The focus began in 2008 when it launched its 10,000 Women global program in support of female entrepreneurs.
“Given all that’s happened over the course of the last year, we’ve done a lot of talking at the firm—and even more listening—to help us figure out how we can do more to end the racial inequity and the gaps that have existed in society for well too long.”
The coronavirus pandemic has affected Black communities have been disproportionately. Including the financial burdens of an economy crippled with widespread layoffs and reduced incomes. Like countless studies before, the findings show racial inequality is not just a social issue, but it's an economic issue. The research found that Black women are paid 35% less than white men. Reducing this gap could create between 1.2 million and 1.7 million jobs in the U.S.
Goldman’s announcement comes as employees, shareholders and society call on corporate America to do more against systemic racism. Several companies have announced new diversity and inclusion measures, but it's unclear whether these initiatives will translate into real progress. With Goldman Sachs, they have announced specific goals. Investments could include, for example, a company that reskills home-care workers, an industry that employs many Black women; a community-development financial institution in the Deep South; and a health center in a predominantly Black community of New Orleans.
“We're going to create a new model about what inclusive growth looks like,” said Margaret Anadu, the global head of sustainability and impact in the asset management unit of Goldman Sachs. “The work we do here, we think will drive progress for everyone.”
The program's goal is to positively impact the lives of at least one million Black women by 2030. The advisory council includes names like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Other members of the council include Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, as well as other business leaders like Rosalind Brewer, CEO of drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple. Another notable name on the council is famed writer, producer, director and actor Issa Rae.
To see a full list of council members and read the entire Goldman Sachs press release, please click here.
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