For the majority of the people in the US, when it comes to bank leadership, odds are: probably not.
What does banking have in common with Hollywood, the US Congress, and large business?
The Money Managers. The Dealers of Entertainment. The Architects of National Policy. The Job Creators.
These industry and culture shaping positions demand diversified, representative control.
Except there isn’t.
The Underrepresentation of Women
One of every two people in the US is a woman. So equal representation would mean that men and women hold an equal number of seats at the leadership table.
Yet only one woman owns a small business for every three men who do. One woman speaks in top Hollywood films for every four men who do. One woman holds a seat in Congress for every five males who do. One woman is CEO of a Fortune 500 company for every 17 men who are. And one woman owns a bank for every 372 males who do.
The odds that you’re supporting a small business owned by a woman are 93 times better than the odds that you’re putting your life savings under the governance control of women bank owners.
The Underrepresentation of People of Color
Two of every five people in the US are people of color. And when it comes to top leadership positions? Two people of color own a business for every six white people who do. Two people of color speak in top Hollywood films for every six white people who do. Two people of color hold seats in Congress for every ten white people who do. And two people of color own or govern a bank for every 67 white people who do.
Use your power, or lose it
So what’s one to do? And what’s this got to do with you?
Well, if you’ve got some cash, and have got some ideas, you’ve got some power.
You can choose to undo historical and systemic patterns of inequities that are neither arbitrary nor benign by thinking before banking, and putting your money behind organizations focused on financing underrepresented groups.
The significance of supporting small business banks
The majority of businesses in the US are small businesses. By supporting small business, you’re more likely to be supporting more equitable representation of female and minority ownership than were you to only support large businesses.
By supporting organizations that are focused on supporting small businesses, you’re more likely to make a direct impact on growing women’s and minorities’ equity stakes within the economy.
Closing the gap
Backing organizations to help advance equitable representation isn’t about deciding how to better slice a pie.
Rather, it’s about eliminating blind spots in influential sectors that shape our economy.
From supporting small business to banking with banks that do, you can use your power to advance better representation across important economic and cultural institutions in the US.
Or you can do nothing. While others harness their power to advance their interests, which may or may not be a good representation of you.
Population data, 2016: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045216
Business ownership data, 2016: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045216
Hollywood data, 2015 : https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/30000-hollywood-film-characters-heres-many-werent-white
Congressional data, 2018: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44762.pdf
Fortune CEOs data, 2017: http://fortune.com/2017/06/07/fortune-women-ceos/
Bank data, 2016: Mighty
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