ION Comments on Proposed Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies, Urges Regulating Agencies to Emphasize Actual Impact of Initiatives
Disclosure of Outcomes will Promote Stakeholder Transparency, Accountability Regarding Diversity and Inclusion Policies
Nashville, Tenn. – March 6, 2014 – ION has commented on the Proposed Interagency Policy Statement authored by the OCC, BGFRS, FDIC, NCUA, CFPB, and SEC,1 which would assess the diversity policies and practices of the entities these agencies regulate. While ION welcomes the development of the joint standards, it is concerned with the emphasis placed on assessment and disclosure of the existence of diversity and inclusion policies, practices and metrics. Instead, ION would encourage the regulating agencies to place more emphasis on the assessment and disclosure of the outcomes and impact of the regulating agencies’ diversity and inclusion initiatives. This effort is led by ION Board Member and Research Chair Julie Graber (Women for Economic and Leadership Development).
“Establishing a diversity policy is not enough. We also need to know the effectiveness of different policies if we want to track and change the landscape. As a data-driven organization, ION believes that metrics illustrate the reality that is sometimes lost in the anecdotal coverage of extraordinary women and their achievements,” said ION President Sarah Meyerrose. “We are pleased that Sheryl Sandberg is a billionaire and that Ursula Burns worked her way up through the ranks at Xerox, but in our most recent census, the story is less encouraging. In the 2,030 US public companies we researched, only 12 percent of board members are women and a mere three percent are led by a female CEO.”
The disclosure of outcomes from diversity initiatives can satisfy the goal of promoting transparency and accountability for the regulated agencies’ many stakeholders. However, ION does not suggest that the regulating agencies establish mandates or quotas. Transparency regarding specific outcomes of diversity and inclusion efforts is a measure of an agency’s good faith commitment to building a more effective organization through a diverse and inclusive workforce, leadership team and business practices.
Formed in 2004, ION is a national nonprofit network of 17 regional member organizations across the United States representing more than 10,000 executive-level women from a wide range of disciplines. ION gives its members an increasingly important platform to advocate for the advancement of women to positions of power in executive suites and on boards of directors of publicly traded companies.
1The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission