Via Federal Reserve

September 08, 2020

Diversity and Inclusion

Testimony by Sheila Clark, Program Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Before the Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

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Chair Beatty, Ranking Member Wagner, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the important role of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at the Federal Reserve Board. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) 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. Diverse perspectives inspire the best ideas, lead to the best decisions, and advance the Federal Reserve’s mission in service to the public. We continue to work toward increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels of the Board; promoting fair inclusion and utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses in the Board’s procurement process; and supporting transparency and awareness of diversity policies and practices at regulated institutions.

The Board established its Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) in January 2011 to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the Board, the Federal Reserve System, and in the financial services industry. ODI works closely with OMWI directors at the 12 Reserve Banks, recognizing that the commitment of the Board on these important issues is shared by the Banks and their leaderships. ODI administers and directs the Board’s Equal Employment Opportunity compliance policies and programs and includes the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. ODI also works to assess the Board’s diversity policies, programs, and performance to determine progress and increase transparency. ODI’s ongoing efforts to foster an informed dialogue on diversity best practices include participation in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission technical workshops, attendance at conferences and events held by professional organizations, and participation in financial industry groups addressing diversity issues.

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The Board’s OMWI, created pursuant to section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act),1 develops standards, procedures, and initiatives to ensure fair inclusion of minorities, women, and minority-owned and women-owned businesses in all activities of the Board. This includes ensuring diversity in the Board’s workforce and procurement selection process along with developing standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities.

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Board’s OMWI submits an annual report to the Congress outlining its activities, successes, and challenges. I included the Board’s most recent report published in March as an attachment to my testimony. I am highlighting several key areas of this report in my testimony as well as some significant accomplishments of the Federal Reserve.

The Board is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment in which diversity is encouraged, respected, and leveraged to better serve the agency’s mission. We appreciate the subcommittee’s interest in the work of the Board’s OMWI, and we look forward to working with you to continue to advance our shared objectives. Thank you, again, for the opportunity to testify on this important topic. I would be glad to answer any questions.

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