New Survey: Despite Progress and Big Dreams, Black Women Face Barriers to Building Generational Wealth

  • Data from Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women Reports Black Women Face Obstacles to Leaving a Financial Legacy
  • Women’s Basketball Champion Angel Reese and Esteemed Advocate Dr. Bernice King Partner to Move Policy Makers Towards Action

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 21, 2024  – In its latest work to amplify the voices, stories and experiences of Black women, Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women (OMBW) released a national survey today focused on understanding the economic mobility journey for Black women and their opportunities for building generational wealth. The results illustrate that Black women are continuing to pursue higher education; however, they still face the weight of combating systemic obstacles towards accruing wealth for themselves and their families.

Debt, housing costs and limited career advancement opportunities were among the most-cited challenges for Black women in the second OMBW survey, Financial Futures: One Million Black Women Generational Wealth National Survey. The national survey from 1,200 respondents from across the country sought to shine a light on Black women’s progress, their dreams and the barriers to making those dreams a reality. Highlights include:

  • Black women are pursuing widespread methods to achieve wealth, such as higher education, part-time jobs or home ownership, but even these decisions may come at a significant cost.
  • 28% of Black women have over $50,000 in student loans compared to 11% of U.S. adults.
  • Despite 84% of Black women completing at least some college education (vs. 86% national average), 50% report yearly household incomes of less than $75,000 (vs. 35% of U.S. adults).
  • Only 49% of Black women own homes compared to 65% of U.S. adults.
  • Black women provide critical support to their families with 58% spending a portion of their personal income to support their extended family.
  • Nearly one out of every three Black women have a part-time job, or side hustles, in addition to their full-time employment.
  • Only 49% of Black women currently have retirement savings compared to 61% of U.S. adults.
  • Just 17% of Black women feel their interests are being well represented by Washington policy makers, despite the majority believing that federal policies should advance economic mobility for all Americans.

In addition to investing and providing grants, through this public policy initiative Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women is collecting survey data and amplifying the voices of Black women to encourage action from policy makers.

To inspire policy solutions, OMBW is inviting leading voices to help advance the conversation on narrowing the racial wealth gap. Last November, Hall of Fame Women’s basketball player and coach, Dawn Staley, partnered with OMBW.

In a new national advertising campaign, CEO of The King Center in Atlanta Dr. Bernice A. King, the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shares her powerful voice and encourages others to share their collective voice to drive action.

“Advancing these everyday issues would not only benefit Black women, but all Americans. That is why we must advocate for systemic change because, in effect, we are creating systems that help cultivate a beloved community and promote a more equitable and inclusive future for generations to come,” said Dr. Bernice A. King.

Next month, Women’s Basketball Champion Angel Reese, will continue to lift up the feedback from Black women across the country with hopes of attracting the attention of policy makers in an NIL advocacy ad.

“I’m teaming up with Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women to advocate for Black women across America who face everyday barriers like student debt, housing access and honestly, the overall challenges with cost of living. I want to make sure I am adding my voice to inspire change for Black women everywhere,” said Reese.

Narrowing the racial wealth gap begins with the decisions and priorities of government officials, not just the private sector.

“These survey results are not just numbers. They are stories of Black women who are college students, working mothers and retirees who are striving to leave a legacy. Amplifying the voices of Black women to policy makers and encouraging others to join with us will hopefully make the need for progress undeniable,” said Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs.

To read more about the survey results from the Financial Futures: One Million Black Women Generational Wealth National Survey, click here.


About One Million Black Women
In partnership with Black-women-led organizations, financial institutions and other partners, Goldman Sachs has committed $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital over the next decade to help address the dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The initiative, One Million Black Women, is named for and guided by the goal of impacting the lives of at least one million Black women by 2030.

About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.