I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I was eager to put 2020 in my rearview mirror and start to look ahead to 2021. For many of us, this involves reflecting on lessons learned and prioritizing areas that matter most, personally and professionally.
I joined ServiceNow in January 2020. In March, the world as we knew it changed almost overnight. Fast forward nearly 12 months later, and I am fortunate to be in my dream job. I am acutely aware of how blessed I am to make that statement, something I might have taken for granted before COVID-19.
ServiceNow is my dream job because our purpose is to make the world of work, work better for people. We also have a tremendous opportunity to make the world work better, too. I can’t think of a more rewarding purpose and opportunity.
I’m very proud that we’re launching the ServiceNow Racial Equity Fund, a $100 million investment fund designed to drive more sustainable wealth creation by funding homeownership, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood revitalization within Black communities in 10 regions across the United States.
Turning opportunity into action
Amid a global pandemic and the economic disruption that it caused, the racial justice movement, and the ongoing climate crisis, social responsibility is more urgent than ever.
The past year further amplified the racial and socioeconomic inequalities that disproportionately impact Black communities across the country. Here’s the bottom line: The world isn’t working better for them, and we want to play a role in changing that.
Homeownership contributes to wealth creation for families and communities by anchoring families in neighborhoods, spurring local entrepreneurship and job creation, and improving overall economic growth. However, due to systemic racial injustice, Black individuals and communities have historically been the most likely to be denied access to capital, according to Citi GPS: Global Perspectives and Solutions.
Black-owned businesses are twice as likely to be rejected for a loan, and there is a 30% national gap in the homeownership rate between Black and White families.
In addition, banks in under-resourced communities that are willing to lend often lack the capacity to extend loans to every member of the community. Because of their smaller loan sizes, community banks are often underfunded by institutional buyers. That’s where the ServiceNow Racial Equity Fund can help, by expanding opportunities to reduce the wealth gap for individuals, families, entrepreneurs, and business owners.
The ServiceNow Racial Equity Fund, managed by RBC Global Asset Management, will buy smaller community loans to increase the lending capacity for local banks. By increasing access to capital, the fund will facilitate homeownership and entrepreneurship in Black communities, leading to job creation and wider economic growth.
The fund, which is the first of its kind for ServiceNow, will initially make investments in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, Orlando, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. – locations where ServiceNow has significant operations and community presence.
In the months and years ahead, ServiceNow will reinvest all fund returns back into the fund. We will continuously measure and evaluate the success of this fund to help us evaluate other investments and programs that promote social equity.
Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are essential to who ServiceNow is, how we’ll grow, and how we’ll innovate. With the expertise and passion of our employees around the world, the power of our digital workflow solutions, and the strength of our financial resources and strategic partnerships, ServiceNow aims to create equitable opportunity and drive real, lasting change.
I was inspired by The Hill We Climb, the poem Amanda Gorman read at the U.S. presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. on January 20. Gorman writes:
I can’t think of more fitting words as we embark on our journey to make the world work better for all.
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