In finance when an organization is “in the Black” it means it is profitable and growing. It is a sign of achievement, a measure of success, a sort of demarcation that says you’re winning. Now juxtapose this through the lens of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. You will find there is much left to do in the world of Finance with respect to both meaningful participation of Black talent in leadership in the industry, and equitable access to capital for Black- and minority-owned businesses. This is not only about the “right thing to do”: it’s the smart thing to do. Just as much as being in the black means success, this is about winning in our communities. Importantly, addressing this divide unlocks new opportunities for those businesses participating in this market to win and open up new long term growth prospects.

Let’s start with the dearth of Black talent at the top. Of the many เว็บคาสิโน เชื่อถือได้ financial industry CEOs I’ve met over the years, I have only met a handful that look like me. Black Americans in senior roles are chronically underrepresented in the financial services industry and the statistics show that the trends are not improving. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found just 2.6 percent of people at the executive or senior leadership levels in the finance industry identify as Black, compared with 86 percent identifying as White. At a professional level, 9 percent identify as Black, while
6.9 percent do so at the entry to mid-level. There are some signs of progress – albeit very slow progress –but the truth is, this situation is improving for every minority group except Black Americans.

The other unfortunate reality is that Black-owned businesses have historically had unequal access to capital and financing options. Data from the US Federal Reserve found Black-owned businesses are twice as likely to be rejected for loans and comprise the most likely group to have applied for and be rejected for a credit card, limiting progress, growth, and opportunity. I suspect that as we address these inequities and have greater representation of Black employees in senior roles, we will also see more fair and balanced access to capital amongst minority-owned businesses. In the effort to empower such businesses, exploring resources like business credit cards at could potentially provide valuable financial support and bridge the gap in securing the necessary funds for growth and success.

Diversity and inclusion matters. Forging a strong relationship between the Black Community and the Financial Services industry is imperative. It’s both the right thing and the smart thing to do. The value of diversity has been proven time and again. Employee performance in companies with high diversity is 12 percent better than businesses with lower levels of diversity. Decision making is proven to be faster and more effective, innovation is greater, and experiences are richer. Research from Boston Consulting Group found companies with diverse management teams have 19 percent higher revenues generated by innovation than those without.

And it’s what workers want: 83 percent of millennials are more actively engaged in their work in a more diverse, inclusive company. It’s a better place to work.

A workforce can and must reflect its buyers and the community within which it operates. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure this happens. Courageous conversations and good intentions scratch the surface but we must do much more.

I participated in a podcast during Black History Month for the ELFA1. The panel shared insight on how people of color in leadership roles, can drive change and accelerate progress so that we address and reverse this deepening divide. Here’s some of what we discussed:

Change the hiring process

  • Spend time with recruiting companies; look at their background; who they’ve brought into other organizations and what that representation looks like
  • Make sure your recruiting panel reflects the communities from which it hires
  • Train hiring managers in competency-based interviews to help overcome unconscious bias
  • Remember that policies set a framework but will not, alone, solve the situation. People must adopt behaviors, take action and apply these policies.

Coach, mentor and guide

  • Reach down, mentor and foster talent both inside and outside your business
  • Identify needs and goals, and create opportunities to develop and grow
  • Create a pool of talent so people are ready for senior leadership opportunities

Generate connections

  • Learn from other groups already driving change. For example, women’s networks are inspiring when it comes to identifying, recruiting, developing, and connecting with other women within the industry
  • Never underestimate the value of allies

At Pitney Bowes, our CEO Marc Lautenbach is a champion of diversity, an ally and a sponsor. His passion for inclusion drives our culture and our key value of doing the right thing, the right way. As a business, we stand for Main Street; for owners of small businesses; for minority-owned businesses. We also stand, as we have for most of our 100 years, for providing equitable opportunities in an inclusive culture where diverse talent can rise to all levels throughout the organization. We are proud of the progress we’ve made and are always seeking to improve and do more.

1 The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association


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