Wall Street banks are trying to address their image as being the preserve of Ivy League-educated white men.
An analysis of their self-reported diversity metrics highlights just how much work they have to do.
We collected the metrics on employee diversity — from the executive level right down to administrative support — across a handful of bulge-bracket banks.
All of the data was publicly available on company websites or in corporate social-responsibility reports.
The numbers don’t look great
At the highest levels of management, the extent to which the biggest banks are predominantly white and male is pretty staggering.
More than two-thirds of executives at the same firms are male.
Here’s the breakdown (US workforce only):
And by gender:
Some tallies don’t add up to 100% due to rounding.
It’s great that companies even disclose these metrics. Some banks have been doing it for only a couple of years, while others, such as Citi, began disclosing diversity data in 1999.
In Silicon Valley, by comparison, most high-profile tech companies just began disclosing their metrics last year.
There are also numerous factors to bear in mind, such as the company’s varying business models.
Banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Citi appear to have much larger female workforces than Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. But that could be because those banks have large retail banking wings, which could be more likely to be staffed with women.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are traditional investment banks and do not have brick-and-mortar branches, in contrast.
They’re trying though
The banks’ failure to recruit a more diverse workforce is not for lack of trying.
- Citigroup, for example, keeps track of diversity at the senior level with a scorecard, according to its annual diversity report. It also has two women’s leadership training programs targeted at female managing directors and directors.
- Goldman holds diversity events to showcase role models and promote networking, and it requires each employee to complete two hours of diversity and inclusion training, via online workshops, each year.
- At Wells Fargo, a representative said, “One of our core values is our commitment to diversity and inclusion — a business imperative that will continue to be a major area of focus at Wells Fargo.”
- Morgan Stanley has a “Return to Work” program for women and employee network groups for a variety of minorities.
- JPMorgan, too, has a reentry program for women, as well as employee networks for minorities and a women-focused program called Women on the Move. A representative said there was a concerted effort to recruit senior-level women and minorities across the firm.
Human-resources employees Business Insider talked to say one challenge in recruiting for diversity at banks is often that few women or nonwhite candidates apply.
Even the new recruits themselves get the sense that diversity is a major priority. One Bank of America intern told us that she and other female friends interning at investment banks felt they were hired largely because they were women.
She described one friend who “literally didn’t do anything” beyond filling out a last-minute online application form for an internship.
“She had no finance experience, didn’t even think about recruiting, knew no alumni, and got in,” the intern told us. “I’m sure if it was a white male who did the same thing, there’s no way he would have had the same luck that she did.”
Regardless of whether that’s the case, the banks appear to be making a concerted effort to change.
But it’s clear they still have a long way to go.
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