The investment banking arm of financial services giant Goldman Sachs confirmed this week that it has formed an internal group to increase the recruitment, career development, and retention of Black employees. Dubbed the Council for Advancement of Racial Equity, the new group was launched in response to the increasing outcry against systemic racism in the US over the past weeks, after the death of George Floyd at a police officer's hands sparked off massive protests across the country. Its mandate will include the development of training and education modules to avoid bias, improve management, and promote wider racial inclusion in the bank's leadership.
According to an internal memo sent to employees on June 30, the closing day of Pride Month, the group will meet with the investment banking division heads Gregg Lemkau and Dan Dees on a bi-weekly basis, and aims to have "specific recommendations for tangible actions ready by this fall".
This is not the first such initiative Goldman has launched to attempt tackling the issue of racial inequity, particularly in the US. In 2019, the bank implemented a goal that 11 percent of all new analysts and entry-level associates hired in the US, and nine percent of those hired in the UK, should be Black professionals. 14 percent should be Latino professionals and half should be women. In addition, it began requiring that the recruitment process for more senior positions should include interviewing at least two diverse candidates, and pegged management pay to meeting these targets. Earlier this year, in June, the bank also created a Fund for Racial Equity with a starting amount of US$10 million, to support the work of organizations that attempt to address racial injustice, structural inequity and economic disparity.