The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion annual report to Congress pursuant to its requirements under Section 342(e) of the Dodd-Frank Act. The report covers the bureau’s diversity and inclusion strategy and initiatives from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2016.
The CFPB has faced allegations of racism, sexism and retaliation. At CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s latest appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) suggested that the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee would further investigate these allegations to have Cordray removed.
The report addresses what the CFPB has done to “foster an inclusive work environment.” These initiatives and engagements have included the following:
The report states that the CFPB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives are driven by best practices in the fields of diversity and inclusion, human capital management, legal compliance and data. The data includes, among other items, the Annual Employee Survey (AES), particularly the Inclusion Quotient, and analyses of employee data on hiring, promotions, separations, performance management and training.
The AES assesses a broad range of employee perspectives and experiences, including the rate of inclusion in the workplace. In 2016, a total of 1,372 (87.6 percent) of all CFPB employees completed the survey.
According to the report: “Results for 2016 showed that overall the bureau continued on its positive trend when compared to government benchmarks, with modest improvements over AES 2015 and a sustained rebound from 2014 results. The most notable challenges reported continued to be in the areas of performance-based recognition and rewards.
“The results also showed differences by demographic population comparisons, including, more favorable responses from men than women on 31 items (up from 14 in 2015) and more favorable responses by white than black employees on 28 items (up from 11 in 2015),” the report added.
The Inclusion Quotient is a subset of 20 survey items that focuses on employees’ perception of and experience in the workplace. It consists of five aspects:
According to the report: “In all three years (2016, 2015 and 2014) that the CFPB included all 20 questions on the Inclusion Quotient, results have exceeded the government-wide results on all of the five indices. In 2016, the bureau’s overall score on the Inclusion Quotient was close to ten percentage points (9.5 percent) above the overall government-wide results.”
In 2016 and 2015, the bureau’s highest score for an individual index was on the “Supportive” index. In 2016, the score was 84.3 percent, just slightly down from the 85.5 percent in 2015.
Similar to previous years, in 2016, the “Fair” index continued to be an area of opportunity for the bureau, showing a steady, but small (almost 2 percent) increase each year over the previous year from 2014 to 2016. This trend on the CFPB “Fair” index result was similar to the government-wide scores on that index, both in being the lowest of all the indices, and in the slight improvement seen in 2016.
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