Goldman Sachs and MetLife have agreed to publicly disclose the race and gender breakdowns of their staffs following a request by the city's public pension funds, which have millions of shares in the companies.
City comptroller John Liu said firms that claim to be making efforts to recruit, retain and promote women and minorities need to be held accountable.
"Without any data, it's impossible to confirm that the corporate claims are in fact reality," Liu said in an interview Monday. "What Goldman and MetLife are doing, they are essentially putting their money where their mouth is."
Liu's office is also calling on AIG and several multinational advertising firms — Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic and WPP — to make similar disclosures.
The comptroller cited a 2009 report that found racial disparity was 38 percent worse in the advertising industry than overall.
"The advertising industry shows even greater racial disparities than the U.S. workforce and lags behind the overall U.S. labor market," Liu said.
New York City's public pension funds hold hundreds of thousands of shares in the companies.
Goldman Sachs and MetLife say the annual disclosures will begin this spring.