Goldman Sachs reports fewer Black leaders in US offices

The number of senior Black employees at Goldman Sachs in the US shrunk last year, as large investment banks face challenges to meet ambitious diversity pledges.

Goldman had 43 senior Black employees in the US as at November 2021, down from 49 a year earlier.

The US investment bank had 24 Black men and 19 Black women in its most senior ranks, according to new figures released in its 2021 People Strategy Report, around 3% of the total 1,465 staff at that level in the US.

Despite the reduction in the upper ranks, Goldman now employs 1,649 Black professionals across its US operations, an increase of around 200 people on the previous year. This means that Black people now comprise 7.3% of Goldman’s overall US workforce, up from 6% in 2020 — the first time that the bank reported ethnicity and gender numbers in the country.

In Goldman’s upper ranks in the US, 60% (or 883 people) are white males, the same proportion as in 2020.

READ Goldman Sachs sheds light on Black employee numbers for first time

US banks are required to break out their diversity statistics in their home country by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. However, banks have previously largely shared percentage figures, rather than absolute numbers.

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 and the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, banks have not only pledged support for the movement, but have set new targets to increase the number of Black professionals in their ranks.

Goldman Sachs has set hiring targets of 11% Black professionals in the junior ranks in the US, and 7% in the UK, as chief executive David Solomon has pushed to bolster both gender and racial diversity at the firm. It is also aiming for 7% Black vice presidents by 2025 in both the UK and US.

READ London has 650 senior investment bankers – only three are Black

In 2021, 11% of new analyst and associate hires in the US at Goldman were Black, the same proportion as 2020, while 14% of new recruits at these ranks in the UK were Black, up from 13% a year earlier. At the entry level, 20% of new hires at Goldman in the UK were Black, compared to 12% in the US, while 52% of new graduate hires were women, the report said.

Jobs at Goldman Sachs are still heavily contested at every level. The bank received a record 236,000 applications for its internship programme alone this year, CNBC reported. Goldman’s chief human resources officer, Bentley de Beyer, said in the report that a million candidates applied for both its internships and permanent roles last year.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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