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House committee: Big bank leadership is mostly white, mostly male

Calls for change to improve diversity at nation's largest banks

A review of the nation’s largest banks reveals that not a single female or minority sits at the helm as CEO.

This revelation was made by the House Committee of Financial Services as part of its ongoing effort to “hold big banks accountable” by enforcing diversity and inclusion.

According to the committee, leadership at the nation’s megabanks is mostly white and mostly male.

While the general population comprises 50% women and 40% minorities, the boards of directors at the country’s major financial institutions are decidedly less diverse, made up of 29% women and 17% minorities, the committee stated.

The stats come from requests sent by Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-CA, and Diversity and Inclusion Chairwoman Joyce Beatty, D-OH, to Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and Wells Fargo for a look at their inclusion data and policies from 2015 to the present.

It also revealed that less than 25% of senior leadership comprises women and minorities, and that no megabank currently employs a chief diversity officer who reports directly to the CEO.

The findings led the committee to conclude that while big banks have made some progress on their diversity efforts, there is much more to do.

Among the suggestions are an increased focus on recruiting through affinity groups and minority schools; closing the pay gap for women and minorities; and investing in development programs to breed new, diverse talent.

“This data is extremely important because diversity in the boardroom and among leadership results in better jobs, increased wages, and a stronger economy,” Beatty said. “Based on these initial findings, it is clear that our nation’s financial institutions can do a better job hiring, promoting, and fostering more diverse talent at all levels of leadership.” 

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