Goldman Sachs has unveiled a new plan that will see the financial institution invest $10 billion in Black women-led organizations, financial institutions and other partners over the next decade while also designating another $100 million for philanthropic efforts led by Black women.
The bank and financial services company has previously faced backlash for being one of the main institutions behind the economic collapse that took place in 2008 and faced Congressional scrutiny in 2010 for pushing other banks into targeting Black neighborhoods with subprime loans that led to millions of families losing their homes.
But on Wednesday, Goldman Sachs said it was dedicating significant resources to address the disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women continue to face. The One Million Black Women initiative seeks to change the lives of at least one million Black women by 2030, according to a statement from the company.
“Black women are at the center of this investment strategy because we know that capital has the power to affect change, and we know that Black women have the power to transform communities,” said Margaret Anadu, global head of sustainability and impact for Goldman Sachs’ asset management.
“If we can make our economy work for Black women, we all benefit,” she added.
Melanie Campbell, the convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, is partnering with Goldman Sachs on the project. The company said it is being led by an internal group of Black women.
There will also be assistance from an advisory council of Black leaders that includes Campbell, Melissa Bradley, Rosalind Brewer, Bill Bynum, Thelma Golden, Lisa Jackson, Valerie Jarrett, Lisa Mensah, Issa Rae, Condoleezza Rice and more.
“This initiative is transformational. What Goldman Sachs is doing has the potential to materially impact the lives of Black women, their families and communities across the country,” Campbell said.
Since the protests last summer, the company has tried to have more conversations about how issues around race and gender negatively affect certain people. They were called out by one employee who criticized his managers for not providing more support to Black employees, according to Reuters.
The company has held listening sessions with Black women and researched what would help Black communities most, finding that investing significantly in Black women specifically would help break down the barriers they have to deal with.
Goldman Sachs held informational sitdowns with organizations like Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., National Council of Negro Women, Power Rising, Black Women’s Roundtable and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Walker’s Legacy Foundation, Sistahs in Business Expo and The Links, Inc.
David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, explained that the company has released a study called “Black Womenomics,” which found that an investment of this size could “have a bigger impact than unlocking the economic potential of Black women.”
“In the face of significant disparities, they’ve shown admirable resilience, especially as they’re starting businesses faster than anyone else in the U.S. Building on our 20-year history of investing in female entrepreneurs and underserved communities we are now proud to partner with Black female-led organizations and an outstanding advisory council to invest in opportunities to unlock their economic and leadership potential,” Solomon said.
The Black Womenomics study found that by reducing the earning gap for Black women, almost two million jobs could be created, increasing the country’s GDP by more than $400 billion.
The study also laid out areas of investment that would be most beneficial to Black women, like housing, healthcare, access to capital, education, job creation and workforce advancement, digital connectivity and financial health.
“Let there be no doubt, investing in Black women has a massive ripple effect on our communities and economies. This initiative recognizes the power of Black women and puts their needs and voices at the center,” said Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation.