Feb 21, 2024 - Economy

Exclusive: Black women face barriers on path to generational wealth, survey shows

Illustration of a Black female business owner with abstract charts.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Black women face a wide range of economic factors that inhibit their ability to build generational wealth, according to a new survey by Goldman Sachs' One Million Black Women initiative shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: Income inequality has a wide range of personal and societal implications, undermining families, individual dignity, the economy and political cohesion.

Zoom in: Nearly 31% of Black women who are working full time also have a part-time job or side hustle, compared with 24% of all U.S. adults, according to the Goldman survey.

  • Only about one in two have retirement savings, compared with about six in 10 of all adults.
  • 49% own their home, while 65% of the overall adult population are homeowners.
  • 58% are using some of their own money to help their extended family, while 47% of all adults are doing the same.

What they're saying: "Despite making economic and educational progress, Black women are still facing systemic barriers as it relates to building generational wealth," Goldman policy leader Katelyn Gibert tells Axios.

Among those barriers: Black women are much more likely to be saddled with college loans than others.

  • 28% owe more than $50,000 in student debt, compared with 11% of all U.S. adults.

How it works: Goldman is in the midst of a 10-year plan to positively impact the lives of 1 million Black women via $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital.

  • As part of the One Million Black Women public policy initiative, Goldman is unveiling a new national TV commercial featuring Bernice A. King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and the CEO of The King Center in Atlanta.
  • "Change begins with action, but it's also about breaking free from inaction found in the silence and the policies that hold us back," she says in the spot, urging people to "be a King."
  • Another ad features LSU basketball star Angel Reese and will run during the Elite 8 and Final Four games at the end of March Madness.

What to watch for: "Our hope is that highlighting these data will really draw attention for policymakers to create solutions to help address some of these gaps," Gibert adds.

Go deeper