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By Kris DiGirolamo & Bret Andry
“Today’s increasingly global, interconnected economy reflects a workforce of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.” Twenty years ago, such a statement was probably not as commonplace as it is today, nor was the concept of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). Fast forward to today, and we’re seeing D&I reflected in Federal regulation. For example, a noteworthy section of the Dodd Frank Act, issued in June 2015, outlines six Federal agencies which issued a joint policy statement for assessing D&I practices.
Countless articles and studies have confirmed the bottom-line impact of a culture that supports D&I. Among the benefits are competitive edges through increased employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and improved productivity. To that end, consider these questions as they apply to your current employer:
- Does your company values reflect a commitment to D&I?
- How effectively does your company’s compliance function leverage D&I?
- Does a culture of D&I contribute to increased effectiveness in the compliance function and more engaged compliance associates?
These questions beg a larger question: where does the compliance profession stand in the D&I space?
The compliance profession is a relatively young field. Some industries started building out their compliance programs only in the last ten or twenty years (e.g. financial services, health care and defense contractors), and others are just getting started. The bottom line: the relatively nascent state of the compliance profession underscores an opportunity to promote a D&I culture and establish a more formal, organized effort.
In 2015, a grassroots effort began to explore how we can advance diversity and inclusion in our profession. This effort was started by a small group of compliance leaders from various industries (e.g., banking, insurance, retail) who all have a shared interest in making the compliance profession more inclusive and representative of diverse talent. The aim is to use an organized approach for like-minded companies, and their leaders, to come together and promote D&I efforts.
This is an exciting time to be part of the conversation! We are looking to strengthen this cause. Do you have ideas for educational workshops, best practices sharing, speaker panels or networking events?
Want to join in on this conversation? Please contact Bret Andry at firstname.lastname@example.org
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