By Kara Baskin | MIT Ideas Made to Matter | December 14, 2020
Businesses owned by women and people of color need concrete change and commitment on the part of banks and investors, not “diversity theater,” experts said at MIT Sloan’s recent The Inclusive Innovation Economy: Ideas + Actions panel.
Lecturer Malia Lazu moderated the panel, which featured Barbara Clarke, a technology investor and founder of The Impact Seat, and Quincy Miller, president of Eastern Bank. They discussed steps that banks, investors, and the community can take to open resources, eradicate unconscious bias, and bolster a truly inclusive local economy — particularly in Boston, where the median net worth of a Black family is just $8.
“The financial industry by its nature is not diverse,” Miller said. “I have pretty much always been the only person of color at every job I’ve ever had. The reality is over the last 10 years, that tide has begun to shift very slowly. Although many companies have talked a good game, very few have actually executed in the good game.”
Here are six ways banks and investors can move from bias to action.