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Diverse Leadership Is Needed More Than Ever – Here’s What We’re Doing

Source | LinkedIn | David M. Solomon | Chairman & CEO at Goldman Sachs

At Goldman Sachs, we’ve made a commitment to driving inclusive growth through our work with our clients. This plan we announced this past December, ambitious as it is, is just a part of what we strive to do. 

Today in Davos at the World Economic Forum, I announced another component of our firm’s holistic approach to driving sustainable, inclusive economic growth. Effective July 1, Goldman Sachs will only underwrite IPOs in the US and Europe of private companies that have at least one diverse board member. And starting in 2021, we will raise this target to two diverse candidates for each of our IPO clients.

This decision is rooted first and foremost in our conviction that companies with diverse leadership perform better. Consider this: since 2016, US companies that have gone public with at least one female board director outperformed companies that do not, one year post-IPO. But in addition to the real commercial benefits, it’s clear that changing the stereotypes associated with corporate decision-making will have many positive effects for society as a whole.

I myself have benefited enormously from the honest counsel of the Goldman Sachs Board of Directors, where our Lead Director is a black man from Nigeria, and four of our 11 seats are held by women. I know that together, we are able to come to wiser decisions for the long-term success of Goldman Sachs than any of us would be capable of alone.

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