Could it be construed as inappropriate and unhelpful to target black students for back office roles?

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Last time we published something questioning why there seem to be so many ethnic minorities working in non-front office jobs in investment banks, we were met with a deluge of comments, including some saying that racism is "institutionalized" in investment banks and that racial stereotyping is more profound in the UK than elsewhere.

In this context, could it be seen as inappropriate to target black student societies for back office roles?

Earlier this month, the African Caribbean Society at Manchester University announced to its members that Goldman Sachs would be hosting a recruitment event targeting targeting black students in their 1st or penultimate year (Masters level included) who are interested in a career in Operations at the firm.


Maybe not. Goldman Sachs declined to comment, but the firm is understood to target black students for all roles, not just in the back office.

Even while hiring across banks falls, the battle for diversity candidates seems to be heating up. JPMorgan ran a special event for Afro Caribbean students last week. Non-banks are competing for the same pool of talent: Google has also been running black talent recruitment events.

One former Goldman recruiter says that, if anything, the firm is ahead of the curve when it comes to recruiting African candidates in the UK and has been visiting universities in countries like Nigeria for some time. Nevertheless, if the stream of invective that accompanied our previous article on alleged racial profiling by business area is an indicator of candidates' feelings, it would help if banks worked harder to bring diversity to the front office - in operations and the middle office it's seen as far less of an imperative.