Minorities and women remain underrepresented at agencies that regulate the financial services industry, including at the Securities and Exchange Commission, a report released Thursday found.
The Committee on Financial Services' report highlighted the workforce composition at six major government agencies from 2011 to 2013, finding that overall, only 45 percent of employees were women and only about a third of employees were minorities.
Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called the lack of diversity within the government agencies “embarrassing and unacceptable.”
Employing a diverse workforce is crucial to helping these agencies better understand the needs of the people they serve, she said.
The report was crafted amid concerns from committee members that the federal agencies have yet to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the general U.S. workforce. It followed provisions that were added to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act and Dodd-Frank legislation aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion.
Five years later, not much has changed. At the SEC, about 47 percent of employees were women, and minorities made up 27 percent of the workforce.
But those rates declined drastically when looking at senior management. Women made up only a third of the SEC’s senior management level employees. Additionally, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians make up just 12 percent of senior management.
Other agencies did not fare much better. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s senior management is 77 percent white, while Hispanics make up 5 percent and Blacks make up 8 percent.
At the Federal Reserve, minorities all received drastically lower performance management review scores than their white counterparts, the report also found.
“This discrimination has lasted and persisted for far too long,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, said at a press conference Thursday.