Black women face barriers to building generational wealth, study finds

A new report from Goldman Sachs has found that Black women continue to face obstacles when it comes to leaving a financial legacy.

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The report, One Million Black Women, found that while Black women are continuing to pursue higher education, they still have to combat systemic obstacles in order to accrue wealth for themselves and for their families.

In a survey of 1,200 respondents from across the country, Black women shared their dreams and what barriers they face in achieving them. Among the most-cited challenges were debt, housing costs and limited career advancement options, the survey found.

The survey found that nearly a third of the respondents (28 percent) have more than $50,000 in student loans, compared to 11 percent of all U.S. adults. Additionally, despite 84 percent of Black women completing some college education, 50 percent report an annual household income of less than $75,000. The national average for some college education is 86 percent, but only 35 percent of all U.S. adults report yearly household incomes of less than $75,000. Less than half of the respondents said they own their own homes, and 58 percent said they spend their personal income to support extended family.

Other findings included that nearly one in every three Black women have a part-time job in addition to their full-time employment, and only 49 percent of Black women have retirement savings. Just 17 percent of Black women said they felt their interests were being well represented by policy makers in Washington, D.C.

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,” Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs, said.