Congressional Duo Demands Diversity Data Disclosure
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and U.S. Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) joined forces this week to introduce the Diversity and Inclusion Data Accountability and Transparency Act (D&I DATA), H.R. 2123. If enacted into law, D&I DATA would amend Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), P.L. 111-203, to require regulated financial firms with more than 100 employees to disclose diversity data, enhancing transparency, accountability, and creating a more inclusive economy for all Americans.
“For more than two decades, my House Financial Services colleagues have made persistent calls for leaders in the financial services sector to embrace in ‘good faith’ diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout their businesses,” Beatty said. “That’s because diversity and inclusion are more than buzzwords. In fact, good diversity and inclusion performance has been proven to unequivocally increase innovation, boost a business’ bottom line, and lower regulatory risk.” She noted, “However, a recent government study found, from 2007 to 2015, that the hiring and promotion of African-Americans declined and the rate for women remained unchanged in senior leadership roles. The financial services industry continues to talk the talk, but it’s time to walk the walk and put words into action.”
"Companies that commit to focusing on diversity and inclusion enhance the quality of their businesses and protect their investors,” Williams added. “In such a diverse country that is America, we need to see increases in the number of women and people of color in leadership roles, especially in the financial sector. That’s why I am proud to join Congresswoman Beatty in introducing this legislation to ensure companies are tracking their diversity efforts and selecting qualified candidates from all backgrounds. Not only is it good for business but it’s the right thing to do.”
Section 342 of Dodd-Frank requires financial regulators to create diversity standards for their regulated entities, including the collection of diversity data. Yet, an overwhelming majority of entities have declined to participate in the annual diversity self-assessment requests. Similarly, many public companies generally have not shared metrics of diversity performance, leaving shareholders and the general public uninformed about the risks associated with investing in a company.
Introduction of D&I DATA comes on the heels of a House Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee hearing convened by Beatty last week that focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion performance data for investors, policymakers and stakeholders, and the need to mandate disclosure to the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWIs). At that same hearing, Beatty and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) made national headlines, announcing that they were sending a letter requesting diversity data from the 31 biggest financial industries who collectively manage more than $47 trillion in assets.