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Goldman Sachs pledges $10 billion to change the lives of ‘One Million Black Women’

Lina Saigol

Originally published 3.11.2021

Reducing earnings gap for Black women could increase U.S. GDP by as much as $450 billion, Goldman research shows

Goldman Sachs has pledged to invest $10 billion over the next decade in an initiative to improve the economic standing of Black women, which will focus on areas including access to capital, housing, healthcare and job creation.

The new initiative, called “One Million Black Women,” will address the “dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Goldman said in a statement on Wednesday.

The goal of the program is to affect the lives of at least one million Black women by 2030. Goldman GS, 0.25% will also set aside $100 million for philanthropic causes focused on Black women.

Some of America’s biggest companies, including technology giants like Alphabet’s GOOGL, -1.31% Google, Facebook FB, 0.01% and Apple AAPL, -2.26%, as well as consumer groups such as Walmart WMT, -0.73% and PepsiCo PEP, -0.31%, have pledged tens of billions of dollars to help tackle systemic racism in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd last year, which led to weeks of protests across the country.

Major Wall Street banks are behind some of the other biggest pledges. Bank of America BAC, 0.50% led the way in June last year, when it committed $1 billion to help local communities cope with the widened economic and racial inequality caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

More recently, JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM, 0.34% said in October that it would commit $30 billion to address racial inequality over the next five years. The package includes providing $8 billion in new mortgages for Black and Latino borrowers, $14 billion in loans for affording housing projects, and $2 billion in small business loans.

Black women currently make 15% less than white women and 35% less than white men, Goldman said, citing its own research, called Black Womenomics. Reducing the earnings gap for Black women could create as many as 1.7 million new U.S. jobs, and increase the country’s annual gross domestic product by as much as $450 billion, the research found.

It echoes similar research from Citigroup C, 0.01%, published in September, which showed that $16 trillion could be added to U.S. GDP if racial gaps for Black Americans in wages, housing, education and investment had been closed 20 years ago. If these gaps are closed today, $5 trillion could be added to U.S. GDP over the next five years, Citigroup researchers noted.

“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.

In addition to joining with several Black sororities, Goldman is working with Black women’s organizations such as Black Women’s Roundtable; The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and The National Council of Negro Women.

Goldman’s initiative will be overseen by its Advisory Council of Black leaders, which includes Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA, -1.41% Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer, Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple, and former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

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