“I’m proud” | Goldman Sachs emphasizes 'strong commitment' to Black women amid Wall Street DEI debate

Goldman Sachs emphasizes 'strong commitment' to Black women amid Wall Street DEI debate

Asahi Pompey, Goldman Sachs’ Global Head of Corporate Engagement, has emphasized the company will retain a “strong” commitment to Black women despite the threat of legal action on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) schemes.

Her statements on DEI, made in an interview with the Guardian, come during mounting legal attacks on companies with diversity measures from conservative activists.

Accordingly, Wall Street institutions have been reviewing their measures in recent months, with companies including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America amending diversity schemes seemingly due to fearing legal repercussions.

In March, for example, Goldman Sachs expanded its “Possibilities Summit” which was previously only available to Black college students to include students from all backgrounds.

The Bank of America has also opened schemes for women and minority employees to all staff.

Goldman expands scheme for Black women entrepreneurs

However, Goldman Sachs has now announced a further commitment to its One Million Black Women initiative, which aims to invest $10billion in addressing racial and gender inequality over a ten-year period, alongside a further $100million in philanthropic spending.

Speaking to the Guardian, Pompey said she is “aware of what’s out there” in reference to the current legal attacks on corporate DEI programs.

“We are very focused on achieving the objectives of our program,” she added. “Of course we do that in operation and in compliance with laws, but our commitment to One Million Black Women is strong.”

To date, the company has spent over $2.3billion toward its investment target, and $33million toward its philanthropy target.

Pompey confirmed Goldman will be doubling the number of spaces for entrepreneurs on its Black in Business no-cost education program, which has supported 750 participants to date, totaling over 600 participants in the program.

Owners of early-stage businesses with no employees, but who have been operating for over a year, are able to participate.

Pompey emphasizes the benefits of investing in Black women not just for this community, but for American businesses, jobs, and the economy.

“Reducing the earnings gap for Black women has the potential to create 1.2 to 1.7m jobs in the US and increase annual US GDP by $300bn to $400bn,” she noted. “It says when Black women rise, America rises, because she’s creating jobs, she’s increasing revenue, she’s making her community better.”

Pompey believes Goldman Sachs’ initiatives are “needed” to “address the systemic issues that we know are out there.”

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Under the scheme, participants are flown to the company’s headquarters to network with their peers and other Goldman Sachs leaders.

Participants are not given financial support from Goldman but are supported by a network of investors, with the Guardian reporting that 61% of participants found their revenue increased six months after completing the program.

Reflecting on the program and the work of Goldman Sachs, Pompey says the company’s DEI schemes are having a marked impact.

“We’re creating a powerful community of individuals who are job creators, revenue generators, who are now more connected with each other,” she concluded. “They come from 40 states, they’re across sectors. So I’m proud of that community that we’re building as well.”

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