Goldman Sachs’ recently committed $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital over the next 10 years to advance economic opportunity in the U.S.
According to the investment banking giant, specifically investing in Black women will drive investment in housing, healthcare, education, job creation, workforce advancement, digital connectivity, and financial health.
“No investment could have a bigger impact than unlocking the economic potential of Black women,” said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon on March 10. “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.”
While women overall working full-time earn 82 cents for every dollar men make, the pay gap widens for Black women, who make 63 cents. Goldman Sachs recently published a report titled “Black Womenomics,” which estimates that closing the earnings gap for Black women could generate an additional 1.2 to 1.7 million U.S. jobs and boost GDP by $300 billion to $450 billion annually.
“Let us not get too excited about the fact that Goldman Sachs is making a lot of money,” said Teresa Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, while discussing Goldman’s $10 billion initiative on Yahoo Finance Live. “The idea that they are investing those dollars in Black women is a strategic and smart move on their part.”
The Ms. Foundation for Women is a philanthropic organization that supports all women, but especially women of color and low-income women. While the foundation is not one of Goldman Sachs’ partners in the $10 billion initiative, it does share its mission.
“The oppression and suppression that Black women have had in this country did not happen in 10 years. This is hundreds of years of systemic sexism and racism that has been levied against Black women in this country,” said Younger. “So what I would hope and say to other organizations, companies, institutions that want to invest in the best bet you can make in America, which is Black women and/or women of color [is] that they should make sure that they are putting as much on the table as possible.”
Younger warns against throwing money at the problem of racial inequity without the right strategies. “We need to let [Black women] determine what the strategies are going to be to move forward,” she said. Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions “need to listen to the ways that Black women can impact their communities and they need to do it for a lengthy period of time and not just assume that in 10 years, we will have the equity and equality that Black women deserve for this country.”
The Ms. Foundation for Women published a 2020 report on philanthropic giving to women and girls of color in the U.S., and estimated that giving to women and girls of color accounts for 0.5% of the nearly $70 billion in annual giving by foundations. (The foundation analyzed U.S. Census and Giving USA data.)
“That is the good part of what Goldman Sachs has done; they have said we want to specifically move these dollars towards Black women. [They] understand that if we can change their trajectory in our society, we change society as a whole,” said Younger. “Who will step up next?”
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