March 15, 2018 / 11:12 PM / 8 months ago

Goldman steps up hiring of women, minorities worldwide

A sign is displayed in the reception of Goldman Sachs in Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) wants women to make up half of its global workforce, starting with new analysts by 2021, the Wall Street bank said on Thursday, as it stepped up efforts to address gender and racial imbalance across the board.

“The advancement of women in the workplace – and more broadly the state of diversity at our firm – is top of mind for all of us,” Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and President and co-Chief Operating Officer David Solomon said in an internal memo posted on its website.

“While we have made progress in recent years on women’s representation and ethnic and racial diversity, there is still significant progress to be made,” they said.

Solomon said in January that despite some progress in recent years, the fifth largest U.S. bank had not raised the proportion of women in its workforce to an adequate level, particularly in senior management.

Sources close to Solomon, who earlier this week effectively became CEO-in-waiting after another likely successor announced his retirement, describe him as a strong advocate for diversity.

Goldman’s initial target is to have 50 percent of women in its incoming analyst class by 2021, according to the memo. The percentage of women in its 2018 full-time analyst class was in the high-40s, up from the low-40s last year.

The bank is also striving to hire more women and diverse professionals from other companies, the memo said.

Reporting by Catherine Ngai; Editing by Richard Chang

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