Posted on November 8, 2021

One of the World’s Biggest Investment Firms Are Trying to Triple the Number of Bame Staff and Cut Down on Hiring of White Men

Jamie Phillips, Daily Mail, November 7, 2021

One of the world’s biggest investment firms is trying to triple the number of BAME staff in senior roles while cutting down on the hiring of white men as part of a new diversity drive.

State Street Global Advisors aims to triple the number of black, Asian and other minority staff in senior roles by 2023 as part of a drive to improve diversity within its middle and senior management.

Failure to meet the target will result in a drop in executives’ bonuses, reports The Times.

State Street, which has 30 offices worldwide, including Canary Wharf in London, currently employs 39,400 people.

Jess McNicholas, the bank’s head of inclusion, diversity and corporate citizenship in London, said: ‘This is now front and central for State Street — it’s on every senior executive’s scorecard.

‘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.’

Recruiters must now create a panel of four or five people that includes a woman and someone of an ethnic-minority background when hiring middle management staff – employees at vice-president and above.

Ms McNicholas added that the firm will still hire white men, but recruiters will now need to show that women and ethnic minority candidates have been interviewed by the diverse panels, according to The Times.

However, State Street denied bosses need special approval when hiring for roles.

A spokesperson said: ‘Hiring managers do not need special approval to hire white men. This is factually incorrect.

‘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.

‘Hiring managers are not required to gain approval for hiring a person of any specific background/characteristics, and we include a process where decisions can be challenged to ensure that a well-informed and unbiased interviewing process has taken place to hire the best person for the job.

‘State Street is committed to inclusion diversity and equity, we believe it to be a critical component of our business success, as such; we expect our hiring managers to have the best possible slate of candidates for their open positions.’

The new drive will also see the investment firm increase spending with diverse suppliers over the next three years.

State Street has pledged to ‘hold ourselves accountable for strengthening black and Latinx owned businesses’.

State Street commissioned the Fearless Girl statue, which was installed in front of the iconic Charging Bull on Wall Street in 2017 for International Women’s Day.

The statue was later moved outside the New York Stock Exchange building after complaints from the Bull’s sculptor.

The financial giant announced earlier this year it will close its two Manhattan officers as its employees ‘adapt quickly’ to working from home.

State Street’s profits have declined as pandemic-induced low-interest rates have cut into its gains.

The firm has previously announced plans to cut 1,200 jobs, equivalent to three per cent of its workforce.

It follows the BBC sparking a discrimination row earlier this year after only allowing people from ethnic minorities to apply for a trainee position.

The broadcaster advertised a one-year, £17,810 trainee production management assistant role with its Science Unit in Glasgow, but the position was ‘only open to black, Asian and ethnically diverse candidates’.

Positive discrimination is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010, but ‘positive action’ is allowed for trainee and internship roles in areas where there is under-representation.

In a similar move, GCHQ invited only people ‘from an ethnic minority background or women’ to register their interest for a role in its IT department in March.

The intelligence agency said the job would be open to applicants from all backgrounds following this preliminary registration period of several weeks.

The move was labelled ‘completely unacceptable’ by Philip Davies, MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, who branded the agency ‘morons’.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also slammed Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick after she called for a form of positive discrimination in recruitment.

Dame Cressida faced criticism fury after she called for a law change to let the force favour ethnic minority candidates over their equally qualified white applicants.

Britain’s most senior police officer made the plea after emphasising that police forces must reflect the community they serve.

The Met is currently made up of 18 per cent black and ethnic minority officers, but is aiming to increase this to 40 per cent – the same proportion of black and ethnic minorities in London.

However, a Home Office source said: ‘It’s fair to say positive discrimination is illegal for a reason.’

A woman in charge of diversity at NHS England also earned more than its chief executive and half as much more than the Prime Minister, The Mail on Sunday revealed September.

According to accounts for 2019-20, Prerana Issar joined NHS England as chief people officer in April 2019 on an annual salary of between £230,000 and £235,000 – equivalent to the salaries of nine newly qualified nurses or the cost of 20 hip replacement operations.

The salary is far higher than that of Boris Johnson – who is paid £157,332 – and £35,000 more than that earned by her now former boss Lord Stevens, who opted to take a 10 per cent pay cut in each of his seven years in charge of NHS England.