The Mission of the SFA DEI Committee
The mission of the SFA DEI Committee is to advise the board on the development and advancement of standards that foster meaningful opportunities for underrepresented diverse professionals across all facets of the structured finance industry, as well as facilitate the convening and support of diverse professionals, the sharing of organizational best practices, and the advocacy of policies that enhance representation, impact and exposure of diverse professionals in leadership roles within the industry.
Create a community where industry participants share best practices, ideas & challenges so that we can learn make progress together.
Support practices that prioritize actionable results and accountability for sustainable workplace cultures of inclusion and belonging
Enhance Access &
Broaden recruitment channels and champion long-term success in the structured finance industry for people of color, women, and LGBTQ+
Promote the value of tangible, visible & demonstrable diversity and strive to educate on how such diversity increases the industry’s ability to serve the real economy.
Ways to Engage
We want to hear from you! Your insights on DEI policies and practices gives us valuable input as we shape our industrywide DEI initiative. Have an idea for a contribution to our DEI toolkit? Have thoughts on how our industry can make an impact? Have a blog you’d like to submit for our toolkit? Share your thoughts here.
Recommended by Michael Bright, Structured Finance Association
A Cold Civil War has engulfed the nation.
After a deadly pandemic, shocking incidents of police brutality, a racial justice crisis, and the fall of a dangerous demagogue, America remains more divided than at any time in decades. At the heart of this national crisis is the fear of a darkening America—a country in which there is no longer a predominant white majority.
Recommended by Michael Brown, J.P. Morgan
Racial injustice isn’t anything new to our country, and all too often, when it seems we’ve gotten over one hurdle in making strides to eliminate racial inequality, another hurdle pops up. Author Derek Penn’s Diary of a Black Man on Wall Street: From Youngstown, Ohio, to the Big Apple couldn’t have come at a better time.
Recommended by Latrice Powell, Managing Director, The Williams Group DC
“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s essay is full of introspection from a young Abdul-Jabbar who took pride in his father’s career as a transit cop in New York City during the height of the tumultuous civil rights movement of the 1960’s. Abdul-Jabbar tried to reconcile who his father was on and off duty along with being a young black man in a city that was filled with cops that did not look like him or his father. His early acknowledgement of injustice aided Abdul-Jabbar’s thirst for advocacy, journalism, and history.”
Recommended by Covell Adams, Chief Operating Office, Structured Finance Association
“The Diversity Gap excels at educating listeners through a wide variety of guests, but then goes a step further by honing in on how listeners can turn this education into action and close diversity gaps in our professional and personal lives.”
If you have a book, movie, podcast, or other piece you’d like to contribute, please add to our conversation by clicking here
Join Our Conversation
Join the SFA DEI Steering Committee
The Steering Committee will work closely with SFA leadership and will serve an active role in shaping the goals, objectives, and priorities of SFA’s DEI initiative. Key focus areas will include aggregating best practices, conceptualizing engagement opportunities, and ultimately designing our industry’s “network of networks.”
Email [email protected] to learn more.
Join SFA’s DEI Membership
SFA’s DEI membership is open to all industry participants, regardless of SFA membership status, and is complimentary to join. By signing up, you will be notified of the latest news, developments, and networking opportunities in conjunction with the initiative.
Email [email protected] to learn more.
Apply now to be a mentee in the 2024 Peer Group of SFA’s DEI mentorship program. This yearlong program will connect rising stars in the industry with mentors on SFA’s Board of Directors and provide access to a variety of educational programming, networking opportunities, and career coaching.
Each week in February, SFA featured an influential Black leader in finance. These leaders inspired us with their thoughts on what Black History Month means to them and how companies can work towards making the finance industry more equitable and inclusive.
SFA is proud to announce our 2023 DEI Program Participants. SFA’s DEI Mentorship Program provides ways for rising stars in the industry to connect with SFA Board members who can provide career guidance, assist with professional development, and share ways to get more involved with SFA.
Income and wealth inequality are multi-faceted problems that have expanded over the past 40 years. Structured finance, through securitizations, can be an effective tool to improve financial inclusion by channeling private capital to disadvantaged communities.
Two years ago chief diversity officers were some of the hottest hires into executive ranks. Now, they increasingly feel left out in the cold. Companies including Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery have recently said that high-profile diversity, equity and inclusion executives will be leaving their jobs.
Social equity impacts us all — and all of us can make an impact to influence positive change.
The complaints have been rolling in since spring. McDonald’s, Hershey and Alaska Airlines were targets, as were Anheuser-Busch and Nordstrom. Each was filed by a conservative legal group founded by a former adviser to Donald Trump, each alleging that diversity initiatives at companies are discriminatory, illegal and symptomatic of wokeness run amok.
The Supreme Court determined colleges and universities can no longer use race as a factor in their college admissions, removing affirmative action from academics—and some businesses could find their own hiring practices suddenly under new scrutiny.
For years, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, has crusaded for stakeholder capitalism, the idea that business leaders should value the well-being of people and the planet along with the interests of shareholders.
Many organizations genuinely aim to create inclusive work environments that provide all employees with a sense that they belong and will be given an equal opportunity to succeed.
Companies’ mentions of green and social initiatives during earnings calls have fallen off sharply in recent quarters, reversing a more boastful approach taken over the past few years amid intensifying pressure from some investors and conservative activists. Take electronic-signature firm DocuSign, where Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Gaylor in March 2022 said the company achieved carbon-neutral status during the year ended that January. Gaylor, who is set to step down as CFO on June 15, at the time said the company was continuing its efforts to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
After graduating from Stanford University in 1983, Jeff Gennette joined the executive training program at Macy’s. He says public disapproval of homosexuality made many in the gay community wary of identifying themselves at work, especially during the AIDS/HIV crisis. Not Gennette, even after he was warned that his openness about his sexual orientation could hamper his career.
SFA’s DEI initiative is a collaborative effort between SFA’s Board of Directors, membership, executive leadership, and the broader industry. Associated programming is funded through annual SFA membership dues, and the DEI Steering Committee works with SFA to create and curate educational content and networking opportunities.
If you are interested in getting involved, please email [email protected].