Chair Beatty Convenes Hearing to Examine Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Among Federal Financial Regulators
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, chaired by U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), held a hearing today entitled, “Holding Financial Regulators Accountable for Diversity and Inclusion: Perspectives from the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion.” The Subcommittee hearing focused on the role of the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OWMIs) in tracking diversity and inclusion performance inside their respective agencies and among their regulated entities, as well as to examine legislative solutions to improve diversity and inclusion performance.
“Throughout the 116th Congress, my congressional colleagues and I have continually reminded all that diversity and inclusion is a business imperative, improves the bottom line and is an essential tool for closing the racial wealth gap. Our diversity and inclusion work has breathed new life into how financial institutions and federal agencies evaluate, train, access and expand inclusiveness, and our work has also pointed to systemic racism and the need for us to be intentional in our inclusiveness,” Beatty said to open the hearing. “We are resolute and determined to see your agencies and regulated entities achieve both the letter and spirit of Dodd-Frank because the success of our economy depends on the full inclusion of all communities.”
The Subcommittee hearing comes just four days after President Donald Trump instructed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to begin the process of terminating workforce diversity training at all federal agencies. In the Administration’s announcement, OMB Director Russell Vought labeled such trainings “divisive, anti-American propaganda” and noted that “these types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.”
In response, Beatty and fellow Democratic Subcommittee members asked a series of related questions. To the inquiries of: (1) do you believe Systemic Racism exists; and (2) do you believe diversity training is important, each panelist answered in the affirmative. Moreover, all the OMWIs indicated that the assertions made in the OMB letter did not reflect their agency’s training efforts.
In addition to commenting on Trump’s recent move, the OMWIs said they were exploring ways to obtain more information from industry on their employment of minorities and women, underscoring the need to pass several recently proposed pieces of legislation that would require banks to report diversity data and mandate that regulators examine banks' diversity and inclusion efforts.
Panelists participating in the September 8th hearing included: Joyce Cofield, OMWI Executive Director, Office of the Comptroller of Currency; Sheila Clark, OMWI Director, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Lacey Dingman, OMWI Director, Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Nikita Pearson, OMWI Acting Director, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Monica Davy, OMWI Director, National Credit Union Administration; Lorraine Cole, OMWI Director, U.S. Department of Treasury; Pamela Gibbs, OMWI Director, Securities and Exchange Commission; Sharron Levine, OMWI Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Lora McCray, OMWI Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.