Goldman Sachs on Wednesday announced a new initiative to invest $10 billion to bolster at least 1 million Black women over the next 10 years.
The project, called “One Million Black Women,” will “commit $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic support to address the dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” according to the investment banking firm’s website.
The company added that it will invest in a wide range of areas to focus on “key moments in Black women’s lives from early childhood through retirement,” including health care, education, housing and small business.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said in an interview with Essence magazine that the initiative is an extension of the firm’s values-driven focus that began in 2008, when it launched its 10,000 Women global program in support of female entrepreneurs.
“Given all that’s happened over the course of the last year, we’ve done a lot of talking at the firm—and even more listening—to help us figure out how we can do more to end the racial inequity and the gaps that have existed in society for well too long,” he said.
Throughout the pandemic, Black communities have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, as well as the financial burdens of an economy crippled with widespread layoffs and reduced incomes.
A study published last month by CNBC found that as Congress works through passing the latest round of coronavirus stimulus checks and other relief, about half of Black Americans said they were in need of government support, with about 57 percent of Black women saying the same.
Solomon told Essence that through the new initiative, “What we’re trying to do is to set up the infrastructure, the commitment, and the resources to have something that’s sustainable over a long period of time to really make a difference.”
Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, will serve on the initiative’s advisory council, as well as other business leaders like Rosalind Brewer, chief executive officer of drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple.
The initiative centered around Black women follows Goldman’s launch last year of a $10 million fund to promote racial equity, as well as a $200 million investment over the next decade to organizations serving communities of color.
Goldman has also made public commitments on other key issues, including a plan announced last week to reach net-zero carbon emissions in the next nine years.
“We encourage business leaders from all industries to join these collective efforts. After all, it’s the gains we make in the short term that will make our success in the long term possible,” Solomon said in a statement at the time.