The Washington Post recently published an article titled The First Black Woman to Start a Bank Finally Gets Her Due in the Confederacy’s Capital.
This woman's name was Maggie Walker. She was the first female to charter a bank in the US, 114 years ago. Not only was she an entrepreneur, she was a teacher, a community leader, and the founder of a newspaper, all as the daughter of a former slave. Her bank, St. Luke’s Penny Savings, invested back into her community through its local lending.. Last month, she was recognized with a statue in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
The statue is a due tribute to Maggie Walker.
Yet today, just 15 banks (or 0.3%) of all banks in the US (5,800 banks) are women-owned. Just 23 banks (or 0.4%) of all banks in the US are black-owned and/or governed.
Maggie Walker's full due will come when there is greater representation of women leaders at the helm of banking, especially in ownership and governance roles. Without due representation, the marketplace cannot deliver solutions that are truly inclusive.
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