Mastercard Inc. vowed to improve the diversity of its leadership ranks, saying it plans to increase the number of Black leaders at the vice president level and above by 50% by 2025.
The firm will also conduct a review of payments and “adjacent ecosystems” for biases and inequities in how it serves Black communities, Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga and President Michael Miebach said in a memo to employees Thursday. The company also promised to promote human rights in the use of its network, particularly for issues affecting the Black community.
“For more than 50 years, Mastercard has been a trusted way to pay,” Banga and Miebach said in the memo. “But we also know the broader financial system is fraught with inconsistencies, injustice and exclusion. We need to expand what we’re talking about when we say the ‘integrity of our network’ to ensure our technology is benefiting all.”
Companies across finance and other industries have spent the past month addressing racial discrimination. The moves follow public outcry after the killings of African Americans including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, which have led to protests nationwide and growing awareness of systemic racism in the U.S.
By 2025, Mastercard will increase the amount it spends with Black suppliers by more than 70%, to $100 million a year, including contracts with manufacturers, service providers and law firms, according to the memo. The network will also strengthen its prohibitions on using prison labor in its supply chains.
Banga said during Mastercard’s annual shareholder meeting this month that employees had been calling for the firm to be a leader in addressing systemic racism. Mastercard’s 30-person management committee has no Black members, and the company has just one Black director.
“We are enhancing our end-to-end talent program to ensure we’re recruiting, developing and retaining Black employees at every level,” Banga and Miebach said in the memo.