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Goldman Sachs appoints more women and ethnic minority partners

Suban Abdulla
·3-min read
The new partners will officially step into their roles as of 1 January 2021. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images
The new partners will officially step into their roles as of 1 January 2021. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

Goldman Sachs (GS) has opened its doors to more women and ethnic minority partners, that now make up almost half of 60 new appointees.

It is the smallest crop of partners since the Wall Street bank went public in the 1990s, as chief executive David Solomon continues to pare back biannual promotions. The number falls below the 69 appointed in 2018, and under the 100 normally named.

The new partners will officially step into their roles as of 1 January 2021. Despite having around 440 partners, it remains an elusive club.

The coveted partnership — often seen as a stepping stone into Wall Street — comes with a $950,000 (£724,000) salary. Additionally, new partners also receive exclusive access to the bank's private investment funds and a share of future profits from them.

“Goldman Sachs’ strong partnership ethos has always been at the heart of our culture,” Goldman said.

Under Solomon, Goldman has also been pushing its diversity credentials, setting targets for increasing the proportion of women and ethnic minorities among the senior ranks.

In the 2020 class, 16 of the 60 partner are women (27%), while four are Black (7%), three Hispanic (5%) and 10 Asian (17%).

Meanwhile, the latest cohort includes 32 white men, who received a 53% share of the promotions, the demographic’s smallest representation on record.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter: Half UK ethnic minority staff say employers doing nothing or unaware of action

The bank added: “The Partner Class of 2020 reflects the highly selective process to identify each new generation of Goldman Sachs senior leaders. Together, our new partners have more than 850 years of combined experience at Goldman Sachs, and bring deep and broad expertise to their new roles. Importantly, the class is accretive to the diversity of the partnership, as we continue to advance diversity and inclusion at our firm.”

Earlier this month, the investment bank and Morgan Stanley (MS) downgraded their expectations for European gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter, as new waves of COVID-19 infections sweep the continent.

The makeup of the new 60 Goldman Sachs partners. Photo: Goldman Sachs
The makeup of the new 60 Goldman Sachs partners. Photo: Goldman Sachs

Big companies have been under more pressure to appoint more women and ethnic minorities in senior positions, after issues such as diversity and the gender pay gap were highlighted over the last few years.

Boardrooms in the UK’s top businesses have long been male-dominated spaces, with the government recommending back in 2015 that the boards of all FTSE 350 companies should be 33% by 2020.

Earlier this week, a report, which collated data from the websites of FTSE 100 (^FTSE) firms in September 2020 — revealed that almost a third of companies are yet to meet the 33% target.

The research by graduate recruitment app Debut said that, women occupy 36% of current board roles in FTSE companies, an improvement on numbers seen in 2015, but still some way off from a 50-50 split.

While all of the FTSE 100 firms had at least two women on their board, there were a number where women made up less than a quarter of board members, including Antofagasta (ANTO.L) (20% female) and Flutter Entertainment (PDYPY) (21%).

A separate survey showed that more than half of ethnic minority employees in Britain say their organisation has done nothing or they are unaware of any action in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Footage of his death sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests over racism and police brutality around the world, it also prompted many firms to pledge to fight racism and improve diversity and inclusion policies.

However, a poll of more than 3,000 workers in Britain by consultancy Accenture (ACN) suggests many organisations have made no such efforts — or failed to communicate them to all staff.

53% of ethnic minority employees said either that their employer had taken no concrete actions, or that they were unaware of any actions being taken.

Watch: Top 25 companies for diversity and inclusion