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Examining FHFA’s Commitment to Diversity

Minority representation in FHFA’s workforce is gaining a foothold, according to a report from Fhfa.gov.

The workforce swelled from 241 minority employees in 2016 to 286 last year—a surge that’s also reflected across FHFA’s top six mission-critical occupations, from 37.0% in 2019 to 41.5% in 2020.

That’s not all. Contracts and obligated spend to Minority-and Women-Owned Businesses catapulted from 172 contracts in 2019, valued at $10,742,889, to 203 contracts last year. Their value, $12,960,984, is a jump of 18% among those types of contracts and a 21% hopscotch in obligated spend (Nominal values.)

Established last December, the newly developed comprehensive D&I Report of Examination is another step in cementing the agency’s commitment to more effective oversight of the D&I programs of its regulated entities in all business and activities. The ROE’s newly implement3ed D&I Composite Rating will better inform FHFA’s assessment of the regulated entities' D&I programs and their performance.

In a September 2020 report assessing FHFA’s oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Government Accountability Office found both “made progress in implementing the diversity and inclusion requirements" of FHFA's Minority and Women Inclusion rule. No findings or recommendations were included.

The House Financial Services Committee in 2020 held a hearing to review data on diversity and inclusion within banking institutions in the U.S.

Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters (D-California) called the hearing “historic and groundbreaking.”

The 44 banks who submitted data have more than $50 billion assets, and Waters said the information provided is essential to the industry.

“The information they have provided is illuminating and is something that the American public deserves to see,” she said.

Waters added that she hoped the hearing brings diversity “out of the shadows and into the light.”

The report found that banking institutions were 58% white in 2018, which was lower than the national average of 63%. African-Americans made up 12% of the workforce populations of financial institutions, Hispanics accounted for 11%, and the Asian population was 12%.

The Hispanic workforce in American averaged 16% and Asians accounted for 6%.

About Author: Chuck Green

Chuck Green has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and others covering various industries, including real estate, business and banking, technology, and sports.

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