New initiative aims to promote DEI at financial institutions

A new initiative to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the financial industry was announced on Thursday by Linda Lacewell, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services

In a letter to New York-regulated banking institutions and New York-regulated non-depository financial institutions, Lacewell outlined the agency’s expectation that financial organizations make the diversity of their boards and senior leadership a business priority and a key part of their corporate governance, including creating and maintaining a diverse pipeline of future leaders.

“Time and time again, research reveals that corporate governance benefits from diverse leadership teams. Diversity in board membership and senior management leads to companies that are more innovative and more profitable, and that connect with a broader customer base,” said Lacewell.

“Particularly in the wake of a changing society affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice and climate change, it is now more than ever paramount that the banking and financial industries have strong boards and executive teams comprised of people with diverse experiences, skills and perspectives in order to better confront evolving risks and find new opportunities,” she said.

Lacewell’s full letter is available on the DFS website. For additional insight about the initiative, visit New York’s State of Mind blog, written by Henry Meier, the New York Credit Union Association’s SVP/general counsel.

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