Big Banks Reluctant to Share Data on Diversity

Diversity platforms may be in vogue among big companies across the world, but few major banking institutions reveal fully their data on diversity.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase shared general data on employee diversity but opted not to disclose specific information that can provide clearer picture of the current diversity status of their labour force, according to a recent report published in Businessweek.

American Express, on the other hand, has not been sharing its data on diversity at all, which came as a sort of a shock for many observers as the company is among the few big banking institutions in the world headed by a black Chief Executive Officer.

Out of 13 banking institutions listed in S&P 100 Index, about four have publicly disclosed their full diversity data (Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup and Allstate).

Various sectors, including non-profit organisations like Watermark pushing for increased women’s leadership, have criticised finance institutions who chose not to share their diversity data. 

Watermark CEO Marilyn Nagel told Businessweek that American Express and other companies not disclosing full diversity information to the public are causing harm to their reputation as transparency will benefit a company even if its diversity statistics is not outstanding.

Nagel said: “When you keep it hidden, the assumption is made that you’re hiding the worst.”

Diversity disclosure among big companies is also a concern in Europe, including the UK.

The European Union passed a directive last 29 September 2014 requiring companies with more than 500 employees to submit annual reports regarding their diversity data and platforms. The directive gave EU member states two years to pass legislation transposing the directive’s orders.


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