Top global investment firm will have to get permission to hire white males

The heads of State Street Global Advisors, one of the world’s biggest investment firms, will have to ask for permission moving forward in order to hire white males as the company introduces a new diversity hiring program, a report said on Sunday.

“This is now front and central for State Street — it’s on every senior executive’s scorecard,” Jess McNicholas, the firm’s head of inclusion, diversity, and corporate citizenship in London, told the Sunday Times. “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.”

According to the report, the firm seeks to triple the number of black, Asian, and additional minority staffers in top positions by 2023. If senior executives do not meet the target hiring objectives then they will receive lower bonuses.

Now, the company’s recruiters will have to set up panels of four-to-five staffers to include a woman and a minority when they seek to hire middle-management staffers. And while the company will continue to hire white males, McNicholas said recruiters will need to demonstrate that the interview panels also sought out females and minorities.

State Street Global has pledged to “hold ourselves accountable for strengthening black and Latinx-owned businesses,” he added.

“The 200-year-old company, in common with financial institutions worldwide, has been dominated by white men. A photograph on its website celebrating State Street Global Advisors’ founding in 1978 shows a room full of white men, all wearing shirts and ties,” the Sunday Times reported.

The firm is based in Boston and was founded in 1792; it currently employs around 40,000 people worldwide in 30 offices.

The company made headlines in 2017 after commissioning a statue of a young girl who is staring down the “Charging Bull” sculpture on Wall Street to mark International Women’s Day. Known as the “Fearless Girl Statue,” it was eventually relocated to the New York Stock Exchange building after the sculptor of the Charging Bull complained, Fox Business Network reported.

The push to diversity workforces, meaning fewer white males, has also spread to government. Last year, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who is black, called on the State Department to hire fewer white men.

“The stereotype that the State Department is overwhelmingly ‘pale, male, and Yale’ has persisted through both Democratic and Republican administrations,” she wrote in an op-ed in December 2020.

She called on the incoming Biden administration that in order “to reassert America’s leadership and values abroad,” it “must make diversity a priority across the board, and especially within the State Department and foreign service.”

“When foreign service officers actually reflect the diversity of the U.S. population — and look more like the locals than like the cast of ‘Leave it to Beaver’— they have the opportunity to explain that in the United States, no matter your race, religion, creed, or even national origin, you, too, can become the face of America abroad,” she wrote.

“Instead of having to start at the entry-level — and stomach huge cuts in pay and responsibility as a result — our idea is to create a program to recruit accomplished professionals from underrepresented groups, so they can bring their experience and expertise to bear from their first day on the job,” Bass added.

Missy Halsey


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