Morgan Stanley launches Black recruitment program to boost trading unit’s diversity

By Imani Moise

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley is piloting a program to recruit Black talent in its sales and trading division, executives told Reuters, in corporate America’s latest initiative to improve diversity after nationwide protests against racial inequality.

The Morgan Stanley Experienced Professional Program within its Fixed Income & Business Resource Management Divisions is seeking Black professionals with at least two years’ full-time work experience in any field who want to work in finance.

“As long as you have the skill set around communication, analytical abilities, interpersonal skills, and you are willing to work hard, you could have a strong career,” Derek Melvin, a managing director who designed the program, said in an interview on Wednesday.

The banking industry has been scrutinized for its lack of racial diversity since the May 25 death in police custody of George Floyd, a Black man, sparked demonstrations and prompted deep introspection at companies across the country.

That has led to fresh pledges to improve diversity and tie executive compensation to meeting related targets. However, such action has triggered concern from authorities.

Last week, Wells Fargo & Co defended its diversity initiatives after the U.S. Labor Department questioned whether they were unlawful or discriminatory.

Morgan Stanley’s program is only open for up to 20 people. Melvin said he hopes the program, if successful, will be replicated across the firm’s institutional securities business.

That division, the bank’s largest breadwinner, reported a 21% jump in revenue for the third quarter on Thursday, helping the bank breeze past Wall Street estimates.

Successful applicants will get a month of training before doing 10-week rotations on different trading desks, leading to a full-time job.

Feedback on the program so far has been overwhelming, Melvin said. Since advertising it at the end of September, his team has received over 700 applications. Successful applicants will be chosen by the end of the year.

“Our expectations were that after a month, we’d have about 100 to work through,” Melvin said in an interview. “But we’ve been surprised to the upside here.”

(Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Paul Simao)

Chevron diversity ratio to improve as layoffs progress

By Shariq Khan

(Reuters) – Oil major Chevron Corp expects to reduce the dominance of white males in company management during cost-cutting this year, upping the share of senior level jobs held by women and ethnic minorities to 44% from 38% last year, the company said in a statement.

Like most of its peers in an industry struggling with the collapse of oil prices this year, Chevron is cutting spending, consolidating business units, and has asked some managers to reapply for their jobs.

Figures from the end of last year show that less than a quarter of Chevron’s U.S. executives and senior managers were female, and only 22% were from ethnic minorities.

In an email sent to employees this week and seen by Reuters, Chief Human Resources Officer Rhonda Morris said the company selected 26% women for global roles in a second round of evaluations and, in the United States, 29% of candidates selected were from ethnically diverse candidates.

A spokeswoman for the company confirmed the details of the email but did not specify whether the selections were permanent appointments or a shortlist for the positions.

The company, however, expects the diversity ratio to be around 44% when the selection processes are complete, the spokeswoman added.

Long owned and run predominantly by white males, the oil industry has drawn criticism along with other parts of corporate America for failing to do enough to promote diversity.

Women and people from non-white ethnic backgrounds represented 46% of the oil industry’s workforce in 2019 and are expected to fill 54% of total job opportunities through 2040, an IHS Markit analysis for the American Petroleum Institute shows.

However, they remain a minority in senior management.

Chevron executives were among those at big corporations to speak in support of the “black lives matter” campaign, which has become a global movement against racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.

(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)