Initiatives to Conquer Financial Racism

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People of colour face more barriers to accessing financial resources than non-racialized groups. As one of the founders of the Black Opportunity Fund, Jackie strives to address financial racism and help people of colour get access to financial aids. This week on our Live at 5, we hosted Shilpa, the founder of Her Climb to honour Black History Month and discuss financial racism and the initiatives to conquer the issue.


What is financial racism?

Financial racism is racism has to do with limited access to employment,  professional, and business opportunities. Some examples of financial racism are being unable to find employment, to get promotions, or being turned down for business loans or grants despite eligibility.


What are some examples of financial racism that people of colour (POC) face?

Whether they are a customer or employee, people of colour face financial racism in different ways. According to studies, women of colour have high career ambitions but feel discouraged mid-career because they are promoted less than their non-racialized colleagues with fewer qualifications. When it comes to diversity efforts in corporations, companies, unfortunately, tend to overlook the effects of racism.

Due to the lack of diversity and inclusion efforts that cause discrimination, 50% of women of colour consider leaving the corporate world. The silver lining is that POC have started more businesses than other demographics after they leave their corporate jobs, creating business opportunities for their community. However, they still face financial racism as customers of financial institutions when they have greater difficulty raising funds for their start-ups than non-racialized business owners.


How can we make a change?

  • Lack of data and research to address financial racism:

Although diversity has been addressed in Canada, there is limited data on the impacts of racism, especially from a national perspective. The lack of data around racism puts a barrier to identifying its causes and finding solutions. Initiatives to better understand and research the impacts of racism are needed.

  • Advocacy

How can we raise awareness of the lack of research and practices to address and solve racism? A great starting point is telling personal stories about racial experiences and addressing what would’ve helped the situation. Even when corporations acknowledge the lack of diversity practices towards ending racism in the workplace, they might not know what practices to run to solve those issues. People of colour telling these stories not only empowers racial communities but also guide these corporate efforts to eliminate racism.

Shilpa’s organization Her Climb provides platforms for people of colour to share their stories and address their issues to create an active community that works towards solving racial issues. If you want to learn more about personal experiences that women of colour have faced, check out her website.

  • Conquering racism is good for business:

As an individual, we might think we have limited power to drive change. However, by creating and joining communities like Her Climb, movements can be created that can significantly impact private, corporate and government stakeholders who want to address this challenge.  Diversity also makes good financial sense for these stakeholders since Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Research has also shown that a diverse workforce contributes significantly to the bottom line by providing new points of view and more opportunities to do business. Keep in mind often diverse communities want to work with people who look like them. Another benefit is loans granted to diverse communities have the potential to contribute to the economic growth of their community and to the country.

  • Lack of financial confidence:

If you don’t have enough savings, you might feel ‘undeserving of financial knowledge’ and get discouraged to seek resources. The good news is that the Black Opportunity Fund provides these financial resources by aggregating and providing access to all financial information about fundraising, loan applications, and other financial advice.


Shout out to other organizations driving change

We also want to shout out other organizations who are driving change to address racism this black history month. Please let us know which organizations we should be highlighting so we can add their information to our blog summary. Please feel free to reach out to us by emailing with their information.


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