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Waters, Brown and Green Statement on GAO Report on Management Representation of Minorities and Women and Diversity Practices in the Financial Services Industry

Washington, DC, December 8, 2017
Tags: GAO

Today, following the public release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled “Financial Services Industry: Trends in Management Representation of Minorities and Women and Diversity Practices, 2007-2015,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, issued the following comments:

“It is important that we improve the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of the financial services industry workforce,” said Ranking Member Waters. “In this report, the GAO found only a modest improvement in the overall representation of minorities in management positions in the financial services industry from 2007 through 2015, and the report very troublingly shows that representation of African Americans actually decreased at various management levels, despite the increasingly diverse racial and ethnic demographic makeup of the American population. This is unacceptable. Diverse representation in the management of these institutions is essential in order to ensure that all consumers have fair access to credit, capital and banking and financial services.”

“The GAO report is troubling,” said Ranking Member Brown. “Improving diversity in these positions, particularly senior level positions, is critical to ensure all communities are well-served. American prosperity succeeds when everyone has access to financial services tools and are able to fully participate in the economy.”

“Although I am heartened to see that overall representation of women and minorities in the financial services industry has increased, I am deeply concerned that representation of African-Americans at various management levels has decreased,” said Ranking Member Green. “To continue to meet the challenge of improving workforce diversity, I strongly support making firm-level diversity data publicly available. As a major source of U.S. economic growth, the management should indeed reflect the consumers they serve. ”

The GAO report found that:

  • From 2007 through 2015, representation of African-Americans at various management levels decreased while representation of other minorities increased. The proportion of African-American in management positions decreased from 6.5 percent to 6.3 percent. Representation of minorities at the overall management level increased by 3.7 percentage points and representation of minorities among senior-level managers increased by 1.7 percentage points during this period.
  • Overall representation of women was generally unchanged from 2007 through 2015. Representation of women among first- and mid-level managers remained around 48 percent and senior-level managers remained about 29 percent during this period.

The GAO report, which is an update to an April 2013 report, was requested by Ranking Member Waters, Ranking Member Brown, and Ranking Member Green.


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