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Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday it would commit $ 10 billion over the next decade to promoting racial equality 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 labor force promotion. Goldman said the effort is “the largest announcement of its kind in size and scope.”
Goldman works with black women-led organizations to better understand the barriers that black women face.
The bank will also invest $ 100 million in philanthropic capital over the next ten years through direct investments and grants. According to the firm, initial investments are underway.
The goal of the program is to positively impact the lives of at least one million black women by 2030, and former Foreign Minister Condoleezza Rice advises them.
Goldman’s announcement comes as employees, shareholders and society call on the American business world to do more against systemic racism. Several companies have announced new diversity and inclusion measures, but it is still unclear whether these initiatives will lead to real progress.
In conjunction with its funding announcement, Goldman released a report called “Black Womenomics,” which seeks to quantify the gender and racial prejudice that black women have faced and are still experiencing.
Like other studies, the findings show that racial inequality is not only a social issue but also 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 US and increase GDP by as much as $ 450 billion annually.
Progress in closing the wage gap has stalled. The wage gap between black and white women stands at 15%, compared to 5% in the early 1980s. Differences at the time were attributed to education, occupations and industries. Although these factors are still relevant, more difficult measurable barriers such as differences in career opportunities play a larger role.
“Largely due to lower earnings and limited access to capital, black Americans are much less likely to own high-yield assets than white individuals, including homes, stocks and especially their own businesses,” the report said, finding the median black. household owns almost 90% less wealth than the average white household.
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing black women. The jobs in February showed an unemployment rate of 5.9% for women in general, while the figure for black women was at 8.9%.