Boston-based State Street plans to triple the number of minority staff in senior roles by 2023 and uses diverse hiring panels. Under the order, executives must show that they have made an effort to boost minority representation at the firm or face lower year-end bonuses, according to the Sunday Times, which reported that staff will have to receive “special permission” to hire White men.
“All of our leaders have to demonstrate at their annual appraisals what they have done to improve female representation and the number of colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds,” said Jess McNicholas, the bank’s head of inclusion, diversity, and corporate citizenship.
Recruitment of middle management at State Street is now ordered to establish a panel consisting of four or five employees, including a woman, and preferably a person of color, that will judge new candidates. McNicholas said that while White men will still be employed, recruiters need to show that the panel interviewed a diverse slate of candidates. In an email to the Washington Examiner, a State Street spokesperson dismissed the charge that special permission would be required to hire white men.
“Hiring managers do not need special approval to hire white men. This is factually incorrect,” the spokesperson said. “We are committed to diversity and inclusion and, as such, diverse panels of candidates. We hire the best candidate for the role."
“We work to ensure a level playing field for candidates of all backgrounds and ensure that our hiring decisions are well informed and not biased in order to select the best candidate for every job,” the spokesperson added.
The initiative comes amid a nationwide force to take in more minorities in the banking industry, which has suffered from backlashes for its lack of diversity.
For instance, Goldman Sachs set an objective of having Black employees make up 7% of its vice presidents by 2025 and Latinos to include 9% of workers in that position. Deutsche Bank aims to make 30% of its senior executives women by 2025, up from the 24% that currently occupy those roles.
State Street, which has promised to hold itself “accountable for strengthening Black and Latinx owned businesses,” has pushed for more women and minorities in the workplace in the past. It ordered the “Fearless Girl” statue that was revealed to mark International Women’s Day in 2017.
The bronze figure, which features a young girl standing defiantly with her hands on her hips, was originally placed in front of the iconic “Charging Bull” statue, although it was later moved to face the New York Stock Exchange after complaints from Arturo Di Modica, sculptor of the Charging Bull.