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House Financial Services Committee Discusses Diversity and Inclusion

The House Financial Subcommittee held a meeting Thursday to discuss ways financial institutions, as well as other sectors, can provide more avenues for a diverse and inclusive workforce. 

“Too often organizations place such a heavy emphasis on pipeline development that retention aspects to diversity and inclusion practices are often neglected,” said Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Chair of the Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. 

The committee heard testimony from several diverse witnesses: Bernard Guinyard, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Goodwin; Ruchika Tulshyan, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and author; Patricia Mota, President and CEO of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancement; Rod Graves, Executive Director of Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation; and Laura Sherbin, Managing Director of Culture@Work. 

Beatty added that often business leaders, more specifically white males, underestimate the challenges that diverse employees face. A study from 2019 shows that women and people of color are “woefully underrepresented and unrepresented” in leadership positions.

She added that the evidence showed that for every 100 men promoted to managerial positions, only 60 black women were promoted. 

“The lack of women and people of color in leadership positions will reduce a company’s ability, to one, provide depth of consumer insight, two, capture new markets, and three, yield greater financial returns, which will eventually take a significant financial  and competitive toe on organizations,” Beatty said. 

Congressman Ann Wagner, Vice Ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, said the group has worked to ensure the financial industry, and all sectors, are “reaping the benefits of our country’s diversity.” 

“Diversity builds collective intelligence by helping teams remain more objective, process information more carefully, and even price stocks more accurately,” Wagner said. 

Guinyard said diversity and inclusion are core values at Goodwin. Inclusion at Goodwin, established in 2014, drives diversity and inclusion initiatives, including bias disruption campaigns, leadership training, sponsorship initiatives, and practice group action plans. 

“We need to work even smarter and faster,” he said. 

Among the items that Goodwin is promoting to help diversity and inclusion—along with investing $1.25 million—is the enacted of the Mansfield Rule. Guinyard said that participating law firms are expected to interview diverse candidates for influential and leadership roles in their organization. 

Additionally, the composition of all firm leadership position will be made up of at least 40% diverse employees. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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