With my colleagues Peter Stein and Dean Singewald II, I recently coauthored an advisory for employers in the financial services industry: Dodd-Frank Standards Proposed for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices of Covered Entities in the Financial Services Industry.
Following is an excerpt:
Six federal agencies (“Agencies”) subject to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Act”) issued much-anticipated jointly proposed standards in accordance with Section 342 of the Act for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities that they regulate in the financial services industry. The proposed standards were published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2013. In issuing the proposed standards, the Agencies stated that their goal is to “promote transparency and awareness of diversity policies and practices” of the covered entities (“Covered Entities”), given the Agencies’ recognition that greater diversity and inclusion “promotes stronger, more effective, and more innovative businesses, as well as opportunities to serve a wider range of customers.”
The Agencies include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Each of these Agencies was required, pursuant to Section 342 of the Act, to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (“OMWI Office”), headed by a Director responsible for all Agency matters concerning diversity in management, employment, and business. In turn, each Director was required to establish standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities regulated by the Agency. The Covered Entities include financial institutions, investment banking firms, mortgage banking firms, asset management firms, brokers, dealers, financial services entities, underwriters, accountants, investment consultants, and providers of legal services.
The proposed standards are divided into four assessment areas: (i) organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion, (ii) workforce profile and employment practices, (iii) procurement and business practices (or supplier diversity), and (iv) practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion. The standards for each assessment area are as follows …
Read the full advisory here.