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Morgan Stanley report shows massive push to recruit diverse students

Morgan Stanley wants more diverse recruits. And its latest ESG report suggests that they are having no problem finding junior recruits to help them achieve that. 

The report says that the percentage of Morgan Stanley's summer intern hires who are “ethnically diverse”, remained relatively steady last year - going from 66% to 65% of the total. Its full time campus-level hires went up from quite significantly - from 54% to 60%.

Like most banks, Morgan Stanley has targets to diversify. It aspires to recruit 25% more women "officers" (VP through to MD) and increase black & Hispanic officer representation in the USA by 50%, from a 2021 baseline. 

Hiring diverse students looks like the easiest way of doing this. Away from its student intakes, Morgan Stanley's diversity figures are more miserable. Just 34% of Morgan Stanley employees in the USA are ethnically diverse, up two percentage points on last year; that falls to 28% for 'officers.'

And yet while Morgan Stanley is clearly using its student programs as the primary tool to achieve its diversity goals, some diverse applicants to Morgan Stanley have more chance of getting employed than others.

For example, last year, Asian Americans constituted 28% of Morgan Stanley's full-time campus hires and 29% of its summer hires (compared to 26% and 25% respectively, the year before) even though Asian Americans only make up 7.1% of the USA’s student population.

By comparison, Hispanic recruits are underrepresented at 14% of the full time student intake (versus 19% of the US student population). And at 14%, Morgan Stanley's recruitment of black students and interns is more or less in line with the US black student body - which are 12% share of the total.

The report also revealed that Morgan Stanley is also increasing female representation, albeit slowly. 40% of Morgan Stanley employees globally are women, compared to 39% last year. The number of female “officers”, meanwhile, is up to 28%, from 27%. That proportional increase might be disappointing to some women in the bank – the industry has been facing questions about women being sidelined for promotions in favor of their male colleagues for years.

Whispers that Morgan Stanley has been disproportionately letting go of ethnic minority senior bankers (and especially black ones) seem to be unfounded. 24% of the bank’s “officers” were ethnic minorities in 2021; 28% were in 2022. Likewise, the percentage of US employees overall that are ethnically diverse increased from 30% to 34% over the same period.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • Do
    DoubtingThomas
    2 September 2023

    Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon we will see a pushback against “diversity washing”.

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