As Wall Street pulls away from DEI, Goldman Sachs backs Black women: ‘Our commitment is strong’

Last Updated: June 22, 2024By

Goldman Sachs Expands Support for Black Women Entrepreneurs


In a climate where conservative legal groups are targeting diversity efforts in corporate America, Goldman Sachs has unveiled plans to boost a key part of its philanthropic equity programs.

The One Million Black Women initiative, launched in 2021, aims to commit $10 billion to investments and $100 million to philanthropy over a decade to combat racial and gender inequality.

Since its inception, Goldman Sachs has already allocated over $2.3 billion in investment and $33 million in philanthropic funding for the initiative. This fall, the firm is doubling enrollment in its Black in Business educational program, which offers free training to early-stage business owners who have operated for at least a year without employees. Over the past two years, the program has supported 750 participants across five cohorts.

Expanding Opportunities Amid Legal Challenges


Goldman’s expansion initiative coincides with a broader trend on Wall Street, where there’s been a public distancing from diversity initiatives amid legal challenges from conservative groups focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

For instance, last year, the American Alliance for Equal Rights, led by conservative strategist Edward Blum, filed a lawsuit against the Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm backing businesses led by women of color, accusing it of discrimination.

A recent ruling by Trump-appointed judges in a federal appeals court in Georgia deemed a Fearless Fund diversity grant program discriminatory, sparking a legal battle. Despite these challenges, Goldman Sachs remains steadfast in its commitment.

Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs, emphasized the firm’s resilience: “We’re well aware of the landscape out there. Our focus remains unwavering on achieving the goals of our program.”


Empowering Through Investment

The One Million Black Women initiative was launched against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests. Pompey highlighted their investment data, underscoring the economic potential of supporting Black women: “Closing the earnings gap for Black women could create up to 1.7 million jobs and boost annual GDP by $300 billion to $400 billion.”

Pompey added, “Investment and philanthropic capital are crucial to addressing systemic issues that persist.”

Expanding Educational Support


In its effort to bolster Black entrepreneurship, Goldman Sachs plans to enroll an additional 300 entrepreneurs in its Black in Business certification program later this year, bringing the total to 600 participants. Notably, more than 600 individuals have graduated from the program since its launch.

“Our data shows that Black women are starting businesses at a faster rate than any other group in the US,” Pompey noted. “But after three years, 97% of these businesses fail.”

While participants in the Black in Business program do not receive direct financial investment from Goldman Sachs, they gain access to a network of investors keen on supporting early-stage enterprises.

Positive Outcomes and Community Building

Goldman Sachs reported that 61% of program participants saw revenue increases six months after completing the course, a significant improvement compared to the 33% average for businesses without employees.

In addition to expanding the Black in Business initiative, Goldman Sachs has launched a public policy arm aimed at sharing insights into the economic challenges faced by Black women.

Pompey highlighted survey findings that illuminate disparities, such as Black women being more likely to hold part-time jobs alongside full-time roles, manage student debt, and support extended family with their incomes.

Looking Ahead

Despite the political and legal headwinds facing diversity programs, Pompey expressed pride in Goldman Sachs’s efforts: “We’re building a strong community of job creators and revenue generators who are more connected than ever. They come from diverse backgrounds across 40 states, and I’m immensely proud of the community we’re fostering.”

Goldman Sachs remains committed to nurturing Black women entrepreneurs, demonstrating resilience in the face of ongoing challenges to diversity initiatives in corporate America. Through investment, education, and advocacy, the firm aims to drive meaningful change and empower communities nationwide.

latest video

news via inbox

Nulla turp dis cursus. Integer liberos  euismod pretium faucibua

Leave A Comment