Black employees in U.S. senior finance roles drops despite initiatives

A survey of 20 companies discovered PayPal had the highest number of nonwhite workers in senior positions

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It looks like diversity is only symbolic in the finance industry.

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A new study by the Financial Times revealed that Black employees were not only underrepresented in the US financial services industry in 2018 but that there was a decline from the previous decade.

“It begs the question of all of the efforts and all of the energy that was put into this: ‘What are they doing and why is none of this working?’” said chief executive of Diverse & Engaged, Dee Marshall, a diversity consultancy that focuses on financial services.

Many financial service companies advertise diversity and inclusion initiatives but the study tells a different story. Black staff counts for just 13%. And in senior roles, the presence of Black people fell from 2.87% to 2.62%.

FT surveyed 20 companies and discovered PayPal had the highest number of nonwhite workers in senior positions. Goldman Sachs has the highest number of nonwhite workers in mid-level positions at 44.1%.

Insurer Travelers was the worst for nonwhite workers across the board.

Across all sectors, Asian workers were represented the most in senior, mid, and professional-level roles although they are employed in lower numbers than Black and Hispanic workers.

“The internationalization of Asia and Latin America and the financial opportunities there breed an easier path for Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans to have a place in this industry,” said Martin Davidson, professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

He continued: “That’s not to say that things are wonderful for Latinos and wonderful for Asian Americans, because there are significant challenges for those folks as well.”

As reported by theGrio, the IRS is also perpetuating discrimination.

The rich continue to get richer with impunity.

New reports suggest that the nation’s wealthiest people and corporations are paying taxes at new low rates as the number of audits on the most well-off has decreased. Furthermore, an official at the U.S. Treasury Department has disclosed that collecting taxes from the rich is not high on the priority list.

As reported by Newsweek, researchers at Syracuse University have concluded that 98% of Americans who annually earn more than $1 million were not audited by the Internal Revenue Service last year. In fact, the research shows that audits conducted on individuals in that income group have decreased by 72% since 2012.

The richest corporations have also seen a decline in audits over the same timeframe. The report indicates that in 2012, 93% of the country’s biggest companies were audited. However, by 2020, just 38% of 755 corporate giants were audited by the IRS.

Overall, from 2012 to 2020, the IRS went from recovering $29 billion in revenue from audits on large companies and wealthy Americans to only $7 billion.

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“At a time when Americans face growing economic inequality and financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is letting billions of dollars in tax revenue slip through its fingers,” stated the researchers from Syracuse University. “As public attention focuses on how the country can restore faith in our democratic institutions, one area that should not be overlooked is how the nation can better ensure that our income tax laws are fairly and effectively administered.”

Additional reporting by Matthew Allen

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