SVB’s ESG: Hiring and Supplier Quotas Based on Ethnicity, Race, Sex

A view of Silicon Valley Bank headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, to withdraw funds after the
Nikolas Liepins/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report listed ethnic, racial, and sexual hiring quotas in pursuit of its own stated “diversity, equity and inclusion” goals.

The report listed the following personnel targets:

  • “Increase women in senior leadership roles globally” to 43 percent by 2025
  • “Increase Black/African American representation in US senior leadership roles” to five percent by 2025
  • “Increase Hispanic/Latinx representation in US senior leadership roles” to six percent by 2025

SVB also stated its intention of determining its procurement on the ethnic, racial, and sexual characteristics of its suppliers’ owners and staffers. It declared its objective to “increase total cumulative spend with diverse suppliers” to eight percent of total purchasing by 2025.

SVB’s report uses the term “underrepresented individuals” as a euphemism for those it defines as “women, Black and Latinx individuals.”

The insolvent bank characterizes itself as committed to meritocracy despite openly declaring its commitment to personnel and supplier selections based on ethnicity, race, and sex. The ESG report includes terms such as “trans” and “non-binary” while denying humanity’s division into two sexes:

Attracting the best talent in the market will not happen without accelerated commitments. There is a clear opportunity to improve representation across all levels, especially for women, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx individuals in senior leadership. We are prioritizing these efforts and introduced goals earlier this year to strengthen hiring and amplify talent development initiatives to create paths to senior leadership.

Please see page 12 for more information on our goals. (To align with government reporting requirements, the data uses gender categories of male and female. SVB recognizes that this does not reflect all genders including people identifying as trans and non-binary.).

While describing itself as committed to “allyship,” SVB declares its support for “LGBTQ+ individuals” and highlights its provision of “transgender reassignment surgery” via its benefits packages for employees:

We embrace and support diverse families globally, no matter how our employees choose to define family. We offer our inclusive family-building benefit for every path to parenthood, including for single parents by choice, LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, and those choosing to preserve their fertility. Our benefits offer adoption and surrogacy services, among other family benefits, and cover transgender reassignment surgery.

The “ESG report” included SVB’s goal of subjecting all its employees to “diversity, equity and inclusion education” by 2023.

With 119 mentions of “climate,” the report includes a goal for the company to become “carbon neutral” to reduce its “carbon footprint” in pursuit of a “low-carbon world.”

In a section titled “Advancing the Transition to a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World,” SVB’s “ESG report” adds a “climate strategy” responsibility to one of its executive officers.

SVB heralds its “ESG” bona fides by declaring its compliance with World Economic Forum (WEF) standards for disclosure. It states, “We reference and report our information based on several disclosure frameworks, including … the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics.”

In the report’s “ESG Highlights” section, SVB emphasizes the sexual composition of its executive board as a victory. It shares, “45% of our Board of Directors are women, including our new chair as of 4/21/2022.”

SVB further shared its plan to spend $5 billion in the form of “loans, investments, and other financing by 2027” towards a “healthier planet.” The Daily Mail reported that the bank did not have a chief risk operator for eight months in 2022.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.


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