Investment banking and financial services giant Goldman Sachs is investing $10 billion to close the racial and gender bias gap for Black women in the U.S.
The One Million Black Women investment initiative will focus on health care, wealth, housing and education investments, as well as provide $100 million in philanthropic aid over the next decade, to support the lives of Black women.
The massive investment to uplift Black women comes at an unprecedented time when healthcare inequities are significantly prevalent. Black women and men are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and death, compared to white women and men. The initiative is also based on powerful economic facts: Black women are powerhouses at home and in the economy.
“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,” Margaret Anadu, global head of Sustainability and Impact for Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in a statement. “If we can make our economy work for Black women, we all benefit.”
Goldman Sachs, which is a $120 billion company with more than 40,000 employees, sees value in reducing the earnings gap for Black women––and they’ve quantified it. An additional 1.2 to 1.7 million more jobs are possible by reducing this wage gap, as well as an increase in the U.S. GDP up to $450 billion, according to Goldman’s report.
The initiative is “led by Black women, partnered with Black women” and centered on Black women. Among its Advisory Council of Black Leaders is Rosalind Brewer, who recently took over as CEO of Walgreens. Brewer is currently the only Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
With respect to health care, Goldman Sachs intends to finance Federally Qualified Health Centers, hospital partnerships and telehealth innovations to improve access to affordable, quality care for Black women, who face serious disparities across healthcare specialties.
For example, the pregnancy mortality rate for Black women is three to five times higher than it is for white women. They also have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and breast and cervical cancers. Plus, Black women more frequently report “fair” or “poor” health, compared to white women, instead of “good” or “very good” health.
The far-reaching effects of the pandemic have also walloped Black women in the workplace. Unemployment among Black women has skyrocketed to 9.1%, compared to 5.2% among white women, according to recent labor statistics to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are also less likely to feel supported at work due to the pandemic.
In addition to health care, the initiative focuses on job creation and career development, education, housing, access to the internet, financial education and increasing access to capital for Black entrepreneurs.
“One Million Black Women will be central to our inclusive growth priorities and goals over the next decade,” Dina Powell McCormick, Global Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth for Goldman Sachs said in the same statement. “The initiative will be guided by partners with whom we have worked for nearly two decades to build our programs that impact underserved communities and women across the United States.”
Other major companies are also taking notice of the potential in Black women. Just last month, Google announced it will train 100,000 Black women in digital skills as part of its Grow with Google: Black Women Lead.