"My bank is making big job cuts. Minorities are being targeted"
I work for one of the US investment banks that’s making big cuts this year. My employer has ambitious diversity targets and published annual diversity figures. The next time it publishes these figures, it will almost certainly have regressed.
The layoffs are to blame.
I look around me at the people who have been picked off in these job cuts and many of them have something in common: they don’t fit the mold.
It’s all happened suddenly and covertly. The first thing we know about the layoffs is that the people effected are no longer in the system. They’re often people you were working only loosely with – you assume you’re there and then you notice they’re not.
The legal team will do its best not to expose the firm to legal risk when it comes to these cuts, but they are up against human nature. If you’re a white male who went to an ivy league school and you have three white ivy league analysts on your desk and then one with a background like mine, you have innate bias towards choosing someone like me as the person you cut. This has played out across the firm.
If you look at the senior management in any of our business units, you will see that there’s a huge way to go in terms of diversity. We are underrepresented all the way through, but we are especially underrepresented at the top.
I’m not asking for preferential treatment. I am asking for coherency, for actions to follow words. The firm says it’s committed to diversity, but the few diverse heads are being picked off. This will have a cascade of implications for the future: where are the role models now?
Kemal Moore is a pseudonym
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