Forbes: Citi & JPMorgan Struggle To Hire Black Talent

Forbes, June 28, 2018: Citi & JPMorgan Struggle To Hire Black Talent

African American workers are disappearing at major U.S. banks, all while men who run the biggest firms preach the value of diversity. The number of black bankers has declined for the eighth consecutive year at Citi, along with falling for the sixth straight year at JPMorgan. Is Wall Street unwilling or unable to make lasting and consistent change when it comes to its black workforce?

The Breakdown You Need to Know

Banks lag behind the U.S. workforce, where about 12% of labor participants are black. For Citi, its downward slide in black employees follows a decade of gains. Back in 2009, black employees made up about one in six people at the bank, now they are down to about one in ten U.S. employees. “While our commitment to diversity is strong, we realize that Citi’s representation numbers for female and black talent lag behind where we want to be as a firm,” said Jennifer Lowney, a spokeswoman for Citi.

JPMorgan isn’t faring much better in hiring, retaining or promoting black talent. In 2017 black employees made up a dwindling share of the company’s U.S. workforce down to 13.4% from 16% in 2011. However, CultureBanx found the number of African American executives at the company is now at 3%, up from 2.6% in 2016. CEO Jamie Dimon Dimon credited a bank program called “Advancing Black Leaders” for this increase which boosted black managing directors to 97 from 83 a year earlier.

The problem is widespread throughout the industry. Goldman Sachs released its 2017 data which showed black workers make up 5.4% of U.S. employees and 2.9% of executives. Black executives are slightly harder to find at Morgan Stanley, at only 2.2%. Bloomberg reported Wells Fargo’s black employees now make up 13% of its workforce, up one percent over the past seven years. Bank of America’s black workers remained at 13%.

When there are fewer people working at these financial institutions that come from your own community getting access to capital becomes more challenging. “Many minority borrowers are looking for trusted financial advisors that reflect the diversity of the marketplace,” said Stella Adams, Chief of Equity and Inclusion at National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that works to promote diversity in banking, housing and business.

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