Published on: June 7, 2019
Topics: ESG and Diversity & InclusionIn a letter sent to 37 financial institutions this week, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee Chair Joyce Beatty (D-OH) requested “a complete picture of diversity and inclusion in the financial services industry” that would include extensive employee demographic and gender pay equity data.
The letter continues a pledge from House Democrats to focus on increasing diversity and representation at financial services companies with an emphasis on management and the C-Suite. It comes after legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate to increase board diversity disclosures for public companies. Further, the House Financial Services Committee designated a subcommittee focused on these issues.
The letter requests extensive employee demographic information: Citing a national need for a “complete picture of how large banks are meeting their commitments to diversity and inclusion,” the letter demands extensive employee demographic and corporate diversity information for the time period of 2015 to present, including:
- Total number of full- and part-time employees including gender, race, and ethnicity “as otherwise known or provided voluntarily”;
- Employee compensation by gender, race, and ethnicity;
- Number and dollar value invested with minority- and women-owned vendors and asset managers as compared to all vendors and asset managers;
- Number of staff and budget devoted to diversity initiatives; and
- Gender pay equity data and efforts to close gaps.
Financial services industry focus—for now: The letter’s clear goal is to enhance the diversity of major U.S. financial institution, citing a February Government Accountability Office report showing no gains in women and minority representation among financial services industry managers. The letter is an effort to create conversation around the issue within a specific industry using the full weight of the House Financial Services Committee to help springboard that change. However, if successful in creating a conversation, Democrats could broaden the focus to other industries.