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Goldman Sachs commits $500 million to women-led businesses

The big Wall Street bank said “Launch with GS” will invest its own money along with clients’ capital in private, late-stage business that are founded, owned or led by women.

In addition to direct investments, Goldman will back women investment managers starting their own funds. “Our goal with Launch With GS is to generate strong investment returns,” wrote Stephanie Cohen, Goldman’s chief strategy officer. “We also hope it makes a difference for women who have big ideas but find themselves cut out of the funding ecosystem.”

  • Philanthropic roots… Goldman’s philanthropic arm has backed the 10,000 Women program to train women entrepreneurs. With the International Finance Corp. Goldman in 2014 helped create the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility to spur banks to lend to women-led small- and medium-sized enterprises. “It is tremendous to see Goldman Sachs coming to the table on the investment side the way they have on the philanthropy side,” said Suzanne Biegel, co-producer of the Gender-Smart Investing Summit in London this November.
  • Work to be done… Under a new UK requirement that companies report their gender pay gap, Goldman Sachs International reported a mean hourly pay gap of 55.5% and a mean bonus gap of 72.2%. As important as the big banks’ external commitments, Biegel said, “it will be equally powerful to see what they do internally to match these commitments.”

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