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Goldman Sachs’ Black Women Initiative Reveals Financial Struggles Caused By Workplace Disparities

A newly released report is shedding light on the grim financial circumstances many Black women in the U.S. are facing due to workplace disparities.

Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women Initiative asked over 2,500 adults, including 600 Black women, about their finances to shed light on the critical workforce disparities impacting Black women and families across the country, Business Insider reports. The “Money Matters: One Million Black Women Economic Mobility Survey” is a first-of-its-kind report that reveals the current economic state of Black women in America.

Findings show that 40% of Black women in the United States have annual household incomes under $50,000, compared to 24% of adults in the U.S. who earn the same amount. The study also finds that 71% of Black women say they live paycheck to paycheck, compared to 63% of the general population.

As a result, Black women are forced to live check to check while carrying growing debt, including student loans and medical bills. Other disparities include access to quality, affordable childcare, lack of career advancement, and adequate health insurance, among many others.

The grim findings highlight the 42% of Black women who work full-time or part-time and say they lack opportunities for career advancement or promotion. This is compared to 35% of U.S. adults who feel the same. While Black women have health insurance, only 43% receive it through their employer compared to 53% of adults nationwide.

Retirement savings are more difficult for Black women as only 49% have a 401(k) or other retirement savings, compared to 62% of the overall U.S. adult population. Paid sick leave sees only 50% of Black women receiving the benefit compared to 56% of the rest of the general population.

For Black women on the job search, 19% report childcare as a barrier affecting their job search, while only 11% of U.S. adults say the same. Despite the grim findings, 63% of Black women report optimism about their financial futures.

Goldman Sachs hopes the report will help spark systemic change and close the earnings gap for Black women. By seeing Black women grow financially, the U.S. annual GDP could rise by as much as 2.1% each year and generate 1.2 to 1.7 million U.S. jobs since Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

“Goldman Sachs research has shown that one of the fastest ways to accelerate change and effectively begin to address the racial wealth gap is to listen to and invest in Black women,” Asahi Pompey, Global Head of Corporate Engagement and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation said.