This week, the House Financial Services Committee Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee held hearing entitled “Promoting Inclusion: Examining the Need for Diversity Practices for America’s Changing Workforce” which served as a forum of discussion for ideas to create an ethnic and gender diverse talent pipeline at companies, and specifically at financial services firms.
During the hearing, a set of panelists reviewed best practices for promoting and retaining diverse talent with the members of the Subcommittee. One strong theme present in the hearing was an endorsement of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which required a minority candidate be interviewed in the hiring process for NFL coaches, and interest by certain Subcommittee members in applying the rule in the financial services and potentially other contexts. As we have previously reported, the Financial Services Committee has considered legislation requiring application of the rule in selecting Federal Reserve Bank Presidents.
Among the best practices discussed in the hearing were:
- Enhancing Bias and Diversity Training
- Providing mentors and sponsors to diverse team members
- Greater Use of employee resource groups (ERGs)
- Fair pathways to promotions
- Flexible work arrangements and paternal leave
Very little actual legislation was discussed during the hearing, which featured a strong bipartisan discussion of the issues and potential approaches to achieving greater workplace diversity. The Subcommittee hopes to take further action to help encourage a diverse pipeline of talent in recruitment processes that will translate into more diverse workforces and leadership teams.