Fed Wants Banks to Say What They’re Doing to Promote Diversity

The Federal Reserve wants the banks it oversees to provide more information on what they’re doing to promote racial and gender diversity, a senior central bank official said.

“In the last two years, regulated entities slightly increased their submissions of assessments of their diversity policies and practices,” Sheila Clark, program director of the Fed’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said in congressionaltestimony published ahead of a hearing Tuesday. “However, we are not satisfied with the level of responsiveness.”

She said the Fed is continuing to explore ways to promote greater participation by the banks, including by working with other financial regulators.

Much of Clark’s scheduled testimony to a House Financial Services Committee panel was devoted to detailing the steps that the Fed has taken to promote diversity.

Among the “significant accomplishments” she cited was an increase in the number of women and minorities in senior leadership positions at the Fed Board in Washington. “In 2019, there were 19 appointments to the official staff, of which five were minorities (26%) and six were women (32%),” she said in testimony posted on the Fed’s and committee’s website.

The Fed’s Board of Governors “is deeply committed to an inclusive workplace and a diverse workforce, as well as to fostering diversity in our own procurement practices and those at the institutions we regulate,” Clark said.

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