“Just as we ask of other companies, we have a long-term strategy aimed at improving diversity, equity and inclusion,” Fink wrote in a letter to shareholders.
“I know our culture is not perfect,” Fink added. “It depends on the contribution of 16,500 individuals. And in some cases, certain employees have not upheld BlackRock’s standards.
“I have made it clear to employees that we want to know when that happens, and those individuals don’t have a place at BlackRock.”
BlackRock launches investigation in response to discrimination complaints
Fink acknowledged that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is embroiled in some broader cultural problems, and highlighted measures it is taking to try to improve.
“Our strategy includes: mitigating bias in our hiring and talent management practices; providing professional development, sponsorship and executive coaching opportunities; raising awareness of DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion] matters; and resetting behavioral expectations across the organization,” Fink wrote.
Earlier this year, a former employee published a Medium post saying she faced discrimination and harassment at BlackRock.
After that story hit headlines across the globe, BlackRock said it would enlist Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to review diversity and inclusion matters.
According to Bloomberg, BlackRock also pledged to commission an independent audit into its diversity and inclusion practices.
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The move follows a shareholder request made to the asset manager by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and CtW Investment Group, which said the financial services industry has been integral in perpetuating the racial wealth gap.
The audit will begin in 2022 and look at how BlackRock’s business may have contributed to racial inequities in the financial system, the firm said.