Testimony before the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, Committee on Financial Services
Sept. 8, 2020
Chair Beatty, Ranking Member Wagner, and Members of the Subcommittee:
Thank you for the opportunity to testify about the work of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Under OMWI’s leadership and guidance, the SEC pursues strategies and initiatives that are focused on enhancing diversity, inclusion, and opportunity in the agency’s senior management and professional occupations. The SEC also strives to foster an inclusive work environment where all employees are treated fairly, valued, and respected. Beyond our workforce, we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the SEC’s supplier network and in the industry participants the agency oversees. At the SEC, diversity and inclusion is embraced as an essential strategy for effective mission performance as well as a matter of legal compliance.
I am honored to present OMWI’s most recent Annual Report to Congress, which highlights the actions we have taken to promote diversity and inclusion in the SEC’s workforce, increase opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses to contract with the agency, and implement other requirements of Section 342 of the Dodd Frank Act. In addition, I am pleased to present the SEC Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2022 (the Strategic Plan). The Strategic Plan provides a framework for the SEC to make continued progress and includes measurable actions that are designed to further integrate diversity, inclusion, and opportunity in the strategic decision-making of the agency, enhance organizational effectiveness, and meet future challenges. Importantly, the Strategic Plan recognizes that diversity, inclusion, and opportunity should be reflected in the outward-facing aspects of the SEC’s work, including through ensuring that our investor education and outreach efforts sufficiently encompass underserved communities.
Lastly, I want to share a recent message from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on Strengthening the Fabric of the SEC through Diversity, Inclusion and Opportunity, which was sent at the conclusion of OMWI-led discussion sessions on racism and racial justice with our divisions and offices. The Chairman’s message to SEC employees highlights some of the tangible ways in which our agency has worked to establish a foundation for enhancing diversity, inclusion, and opportunity as well as near-term initiatives being considered to improve our culture, enhance internal and external opportunity, and promote accountability. These initiatives, which include specific hiring committee and advisory committee selection process, incorporate recommendations submitted by our Employee Affinity Groups and individual colleagues to address these important issues.
My oral statement will highlight the contents of the Annual Report as well as some of the initiatives the agency has been pursuing since it was submitted in March. I look forward to working with you to increase diversity, inclusion, and opportunity at the SEC and in the entities we regulate.