The CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) published its third annual report to Congress highlighting its 2015 activities. Dodd-Frank requires the CFPB and other federal regulators to establish an office of minority and women inclusion, requires each office to gather certain data, and then requires each office to provide Congress with an annual report.
Under Section 342 of Dodd-Frank, each OMWI is mandated to develop standards to assess the diversity and inclusion policies and procedures concerning the recruitment, retention, and training of employees of the respective agencies. Likewise, each OMWI is tasked with developing standards relating to third-party vendor procurement of minority and women-owned businesses.
Each OMWI director shall develop standards for
- equal employment opportunity and the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the workforce and senior management of the agency;
- increased participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the programs and contracts of the agency, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to such businesses; and
- assessment of the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the agency.
One of the criticisms of the Joint Standards by some in the financial services industry was the perceived lack of concrete policies and procedures within the Joint Standards regarding voluntary assessment of these areas. Theoretically, what the CFPB is accomplishing as provided in its report is supposed to be a model for entities that it supervises. To address these concerns, the CFPB OMWI report provided to the CFPB has begun creating guidelines for entities to voluntarily assess and disclose diversity and inclusion data.
The CFPB also highlighted diversity and inclusion training that it sponsored for supervisors and managers in 2015. This training included a two-day workshop entitled “Leading Diversity and Inclusion at the Bureau.” According to the CFPB, the training focused on “providing managers the awareness, knowledge and skills needed to give due consideration to differences in culture, backgrounds and experiences of staff and managers in managerial/supervisory processes, decisions and actions.”
Finally, the report highlighted the CFPB’s diversity and inclusion accomplishments in 2015, such as implementing new employee surveys and exit surveys that discuss diversity and inclusion issues, launching a Diversity and Inclusion Council of Employees consisting of employees, and finalizing the CFPB’s diversity and inclusion strategic plan that summarizes the goals of increasing diversity and inclusion over the next four years.