Financial market institutions sign commitment to racial equity

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Institutions linked to the financial market signed a collective commitment to combat racial inequality.

This Tuesday afternoon (9), Anbima (Brazilian Association of Financial and Capital Market Entities), B3 (Brazilian Stock Exchange), Febraban and Fecomercio became supporters of the Pact for the Promotion of Racial Equity, initiative that seeks to encourage the corporate world to adopt actions to face the problem.

Adherence to the Pact takes place in the month of Black Consciousness, and signals that the racial issue needs to be brought to the center of the Brazilian economic debate.

“In the month that society invites us to reflect on racial equity, talking about advances is important, but working so that they do not run out is even more significant,” said Ana Buchaim, executive director of People, Marketing, Communication and Sustainability at B3.

During the membership signing event, Buchaim said that one of B3’s roles as a capital market infrastructure is to encourage good ESG (environmental, social and governance) practices.

“We want to contribute to the racial issue in the Brazilian economic debate and encourage the adoption of good practices by listed companies and the financial market as a whole,” he said.

The Pact for the Promotion of Racial Equity was created in July 2021 and involves civil society entities, representatives of the black community, specialists and investors.

The objective of the initiative is to provide companies with a roadmap on how to move forward on racial issues, so that they are not only anti-racist, but also protagonists in this cause.

Those who support the Pact are committed to a racial protocol, which proposes that organizations work the issue internally —through affirmative actions, such as quotas and selective processes exclusively for blacks—, and externally, with investments in public education and in the training of professionals .

“Resolving racial inequality in our society involves private social investment in equity, investment in public education, technical training and black entrepreneurship. These four factors form a new racial ESG protocol,” said Gilberto Costa, executive director of the Pact.

Helio Santos, president of the Pacto’s deliberative council and whose activism in favor of the black population’s rights dates back to the 1970s, also participated in the event. For him, racial inequality in the labor market has relevant consequences for the economy.

“When macroeconomists calculate the opportunity cost that Brazil pays for wasting talent, we will have a shock, because nobody can, with impunity, waste talent,” he said.

However, Santos says that the corporate sector is, today, much more permeable to the discussion about racial inequality than it was a few years ago. “In 2005, 2010, 2015 we had greater difficulty working in the corporate field. It’s not just the State [agir], the corporate sector is fundamental, it is decisive,” he stated.

Marcelo Billi, communication, education and certification superintendent at Anbima, said that the importance of the topic is already perceived in the market. According to him, a survey carried out with the institution’s associates assessed the main demands in the financial and capital markets.

“80% of our associates, that is, almost a consensus, told us that the racial equity agenda is a priority in the market today,” he said.

By joining the initiative, institutions will also be able to calculate their IEER (ESG Racial Equity Index) to see how racially balanced they are. The index was created by the Pact and works as a rating (classification), measured from the number of black people in each position and the salary mass they represent.

The score can be improved with the adoption of affirmative action and the commitment to make investments in racial equity.

“When we manage to assess which state we are in, we gain sobriety and condition to act towards racial equity,” said Buchaim.

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