Top Goldman exec says women still not adequately represented in its workforce

FILE PHOTO: David M. Solomon, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite making some progress in recent years, Goldman Sachs Group Inc has not raised the proportion of women in its workforce to an adequate level, especially in senior management, one of its top executives said on Wednesday.

David Solomon, the Wall Street bank’s co-president and co-chief operating officer, said Goldman has been accelerating its recruiting efforts over the past year to attract more women. The percentage of women in its 2018 full-time analyst class was in the high-40s, he said, up from the low-40s last year.

Still, it will take more time to see full workforce parity, Solomon added.

“We’ve made a bunch of progress in the last 20 years in financial services, but not nearly enough,” he said at an event at the New York Stock Exchange on women in leadership positions.

Solomon is on the short list of contenders who may one day succeed Lloyd Blankfein as Goldman’s chief executive, as is Harvey Schwartz, who shares the same titles as Solomon. Asked why there are three men at the top of the fifth=largest U.S. bank, Solomon replied, “Hopefully, one day, that will be different.”

Also at the event was Mary Callahan Erdoes, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s asset management business, who is also considered a potential successor to her boss, CEO Jamie Dimon.

Nearly half of JPMorgan’s operating committee is comprised of women, something that happened naturally , not by quota, she said. She added, though, that quotas can be a good jump start.

“It is all about how you run the company to make it reflective of society that we’re living,” she said. “How do you have a company that’s run by one colour of people, or one gender of people, or one religion of people? It just doesn’t work.” Macy’s Inc Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren said that having women at the table helps companies make better decisions, while CIBC CEO Victor Dodig said he wished stock analysts would more often ask about diversity on quarterly earnings calls.

Reporting by Catherine Ngai; editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Cynthia Osterman