The Importance of Congressional Hearings

Earlier this month, the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion held a hearing entitled “Examining the Need for Diversity Practices for America’s Changing Workforce”. The hearing focused solely on retention and promotion of diverse talent within US companies. As Chairwoman Joyce Beatty noted, US companies cannot just focus on recruitment, but rather must also expand their efforts through other areas. The STA Women in Finance Committee was founded with this same belief and has as one of its guiding principles, address the mentoring, networking, education and coaching needs of women.

In other words, there is power in congressional hearings that go beyond drafting legislation. While the financial services industry has pivoted on diversity and inclusion, real change requires the focus of management and hearings such as this one provide a meaningful catalyst towards achieving that goal.

Like many congressional hearings, there was no specific legislation being debated or voted upon, but that does not mean the hearing was not effective. Quite the contrary. Hearings such as this one, provide a unique and powerful opportunity to gather data and hear the opinions of subject matter experts and thought leaders within their respective fields of expertise. In other words, there is power in congressional hearings that go beyond drafting legislation and this one serves as a good example of one.

The range of topics was broad and the depth of detail was robust. We have compiled a list of the more salient points made, along with reports that were referenced. We hope you find the information insightful.

General Statements

U.S. Census Bureau states that the population of the U.S. will be majority of the minority. Women and minorities will compromise 47 percent of the U.S., and 27 percent of the workforce respectively within the U.S.

To reap the benefits of a diverse workforce, inclusion must also exist. Best practices are already taking place through sponsorships, mentorship, employee’s resource group, and diversity councils, but more can be done.

It is a core responsibility to leading companies in the world’s greatest nation to focus on the talent pool and make sure it is fully engaged to its greatest potential.

Reports

Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion, Harvard Business School

Diversity and inclusion are often lumped together and are assumed to be the same thing and that is just not the case. report

Mending the Gender Gap: Advancing Tomorrow’s Women Leaders in Financial Services, Price Waterhouse

Despite making up more than half the workforce in financial institutions, women continue to dramatically lag behind their male counterparts in leadership roles. report

Oct. 17, 2019 Congressional Hearing Report, Williams & Jensen

Topics discussed in the hearing included: (1) Implementation; (2) Mansfield Rule; (3) Rooney Rule; (4) Incentives; (5) Best Practices; (6) Workforce Development; (7) Flexible Workforce Arrangements; (8) Unconscious Biases; (9) Age Discrimination.  report

See full STA WIF October Newsletter here