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From small steps to big leaps: Goldman Sachs drives forward diversity and inclusion at board level

Our good friends at Goldman Sachs are not shy when it comes to making headlines about their commitment to supporting women in the workplace, and last week was no exception.

Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon, announced that the investment bank will no longer take a company public unless it has at least one ‘diverse’ board member, with the priority on supporting women.

“Starting on July 1st in the U.S. and Europe, we’re not going to take a company public unless there's at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women”, Solomon told CNBC.

This bold decision made by Goldman Sachs is certainly commendable in driving forward the important topic of diversity, inclusion and collaboration.

Despite overwhelming evidence of the benefits that diverse management teams offer, according to data published by Harvard Business Review last year women held just over 7% of board seats at 200 of the most heavily funded US-based, private, venture-backed companies and 60% of businesses did not have a single female board member. Gender Pay Gap reporting, company performance and profit, workplace culture and bringing a broad spectrum of ideas to the table are just a few of the benefits on offer, not mentioning the less prominent ones such as creating role models within the company which encourages advancement.

“We realize that this is a small step, but it’s a step in a direction of saying, ‘You know what, we think this is right, we think it’s the right advice and we’re in a position also, because of our network, to help our clients if they need help placing women on boards,’” Solomon added. “So this is an example of us saying, ‘How can we do something that we think is right and help moves the market forward?’”

At Bright Horizons inclusion isn’t just a business practice; it’s part of our core too. As a childcare company, we have the opportunity to do something we think is right: supporting every child to appreciate their unique qualities and celebrate diversity; making sure all colleagues who join our organisation feel wholly and unequivocally welcome for exactly who they are; and working in partnership with our clients, like Goldman Sachs, to provide family care solutions which support their people throughout their careers.

And although it’s a small step, we know that even the tiniest of steps made by the smallest feet can be the start of something much more. Thank you, Goldman Sachs, for this important start.

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