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New York City funds make diversity disclosure agreements at Goldman Sachs, MetLife

Focus shifts to advertising industry

New York City Comptroller John Liu has announced that Goldman Sachs and MetLife have agreed to provide “meaningful disclosure” of the racial and gender composition of their US workforces after engagement with the companies.

Liu, on behalf of the five New York Pension Funds, said both financial firms have committed to providing annual disclosure of their workforce demographics. Goldman is to disclose the data in its upcoming Environmental, Social and Governance Report; MetLife will put the data on its website.

Liu cited studies showing the benefits of diversity for company performance and shareholder value.

“But without quantitative disclosure, shareowners have no way to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts,” he said in a statement. “We appreciate Goldman Sachs and MetLife taking this important step to demonstrate their commitment to equal employment opportunities.”“We believe that Goldman has made significant strides on improving the diversity of our work force, and we are committed to doing even better going forward,” said Jake Siewert, Goldman’s Global Head of Corporate Communications. “Transparency will help external stakeholders make their own judgments about how well we are doing on that commitment.”
Frans Hijkoop, MetLife’s Executive Vice President for Human Resources, said: “We are pleased to support the Comptroller in his efforts to create more transparency around this important topic.”
Liu said the new agreements mean that the seven largest US bank holding companies will now provide diversity data. But his office is facing what it termed “greater resistance” from the advertising industry. It has filed a resolution at Omnicom, which is expected to be voted on at the company’s annual meeting later this spring. Link