Corporate Diversity and Inclusion
Establishing a robust diversity and inclusion program is important for all companies. Adopting socially responsible practices also makes good business sense in our increasingly diverse society. All organizations are well advised to examine and enhance their efforts, especially where accountability is legally required.
Today’s best practices go beyond just complying with state or federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination or require recordkeeping and reporting of workforce data – such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) which impacts all employers with more than 100 employees (for federal contractors, lower thresholds apply). This is especially true for all companies subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission and all financial sector entities regulated by any of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or various other federal agencies specified in Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”). Each of those federal agencies has now established an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (“OMWI”) responsible for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate. Six of those federal agencies have proposed joint standards, stating:
“The Agencies recognize that greater diversity and inclusion promotes stronger, more effective, and more innovative businesses, as well as opportunities to serve a wider range of customers.”
They have set out four key focus areas: (i) Organizational Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion; (ii) Workforce Profile and Employment Practices; (iii) Procurement And Business Practices – Supplier Diversity; (iv) Practices to Promote Transparency of Organizational Diversity and Inclusion.
BMK can help your organization develop sound strategies and actionable steps to structure and implement comprehensive and effective diversity and inclusion programs that address each of these areas. We work with our clients to:
- Promote the business benefits of diversity to business leaders
- Facilitate the creation of necessary mission statements and goals
- Set up Diversity Councils
- Develop corporate messaging and communications
- Focus on talent acquisition and advancement – beyond affirmative action and EEOC considerations
- Launch Business Resource Groups
- Implement a Supplier Diversity program
- Bolster community and philanthropic engagement
- Structure mentoring programs
- Establish key metrics