The latest class of partners at Goldman Sachs (GS) has the largest number of African-Americans in its 150-year history, according to Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation.
But that number is still only 6% of the partner class, she said, acknowledging that the firm is still “continuing to work and see those numbers grow.” She noted that the 2019 class also had the largest number of women at 26%.
“It certainly speaks to the direction in which the firm is growing and its commitment on a very practical level to diversity and growing diverse talent,” she told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief, Andy Serwer, as part of a wide-ranging interview.
Asahi made her comments in a conversation that aired on Yahoo Finance in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
Goldman Sachs is not the only financial institution that’s lacking diversity. No woman has ever been the chief executive at any of the United States’ biggest banks. However, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) recently promoted two women, Marianne Lake to CEO of consumer learning and Jenn Piepszak to CFO. Speculation is that Lake in particular is a front-runner for CEO Jamie Dimon’s job after his tenure is up.
For its part, Goldman Sachs in March set new hiring goals for its analysts and entry-level associates — 50% women, 11% black employees and 14% Hispanic & Latino employees.
All major U.S. banks now have diversity initiatives to attempt to change an industry that for a long time has been dominated by white men from upper class families. Euromoney this year gave their Award of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion to Bank of America (BAC). Pompey knows that her bank, and the industry as a whole, still has room to make more progress.
Calder McHugh is an Associate Editor at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @Calder_McHugh.