The NCUA, the Fed, the OCC, the FDIC, the CFPB, and the SEC have collectively proposed “Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices” for entities that are regulated by the agencies.
“The proposed standards are intended to promote transparency and awareness of the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities and to provide guidance to the regulated entities and the public for assessing these diversity policies and practices,” said a press release on Thursday.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 required each agency to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, which had to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities its agency regulates.
The proposed standards focus on four categories including organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion; workforce profile and employment practices; procurement and business practices—supplier diversity; and practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion.
Some of the standards included are that an entity should take “proactive steps to promote a diverse pool of candidates, including women and minorities, in its hiring, recruiting, retention, and promotion, as well as in its selection of board members, senior management, and other senior leadership positions.”
A regulated entity should also “prepare annual Affirmative Action Plans as required by Executive Order 11246 under the jurisdiction of the OFCCP use those plans to evaluate and assess workforce diversity and inclusion efforts.”
In addition, the entity should hold management accountable for its diversity and inclusion efforts. "The proposed standards are not mandates, nor do they require any action based on the findings of an assessment,” said the release.
“In developing these standards, the Agencies took into account individual entities’ circumstances (for example, asset size of the entity, number of employees, governance structure, income, number of members and/or customers, contract volume, geographic location, and community characteristics). We seek comments specifically on how we might better take into account individual entities’ circumstances, especially for small regulated entities,” the policy statement said.
The agencies are requesting comment on the standards through December 24, 2013.
“To avoid duplication, the Agencies request that commenters not submit the same comment to more than one Agency. The Agencies will share comments with each other, as appropriate,” said the policy statement.