The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank may be a stark example of the ‘Get woke, go broke’ phenomenon, according to a piece in the Mail. Here’s an excerpt:
Collapsed lender Silicon Valley Bank operated without a Chief Risk Officer between April 2022 and January 2023 while the operation’s United Kingdom-based CRO stands accused of prioritising pro-diversity initiatives over her actual role.
This revelation comes after the firm became the largest bank to collapse since the 2008 financial crisis – disclosing a $1.8 billion loss in its finances.
SVB’s former head of risk, Laura Izurieta, who formerly performed a similar role for Capital One, left the bank in April 2022. She wasn’t replaced until January 2023 when the bank hired Kim Olson, formerly of Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui.
Rather than focusing on risk, it seems, the bank was obsessed with displaying its woke credentials.
Meanwhile, Jay Ersapah, who acts as CRO for the bank in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and who describes herself as a “queer person of colour from a working-class background” – organised a host of LGBTQ initiatives including a month-long Pride campaign and implemented ‘safe space’ catch-ups for staff.
In a corporate video published just nine months ago, she said she “could not be prouder” to work for SVB serving “underrepresented entrepreneurs.”
Professional network Outstanding listed Ersapah as a top 100 LGTBQ Future Leader.
“Jay is a leading figure for the bank’s awareness activities including being a panelist at the SVB’s Global Pride townhall to share her experiences as a lesbian of colour, moderating SVB’s EMEA Pride townhall and was instrumental in initiating the organisation’s first ever global ‘safe space catch-up’, supporting employees in sharing their experiences of coming out,” her bio on the Outstanding website states.
It adds that she is ‘allies’ with gay rights charity Stonewall and has authored numerous articles to promote LGBTQ awareness.
These included ‘Lesbian Visibility Day and Trans Awareness week’.
Separately she was also praised in a Facebook post by the group ‘Diversity Role Models’, a charity which campaigns against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in U.K. schools.
In a corporate document for the bank she said: ‘“You can’t be what you can’t see’ has always been a quote that stuck with me.
“As a queer person of colour and a first generation immigrant from a working class background, there were not many role models for me to ‘see’ growing up.
“I feel privileged to help spread awareness of lived queer experiences, partner with charitable organisations, and above all create a sense of community for our LGBTQ+ employees and allies.”
Worth reading in full.