Structured Finance Association Statement on Nasdaq’s Proposed Diversity Rule
The Structured Finance Association (SFA), the leading trade group for the securitization industry, today released the following statement on a proposed rule from Nasdaq requiring public companies to adopt new diversity standards for their boards of directors.
“Communities of color, women, and minority groups are woefully underrepresented on boards and in C-suites,” said Michael Bright, chief executive officer of SFA. “We applaud Nasdaq’s focus on these important issues and the intent of this rule.”
In recent years, SFA has launched a series of initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the securitization industry. In 2014, SFA launched its Women in Securitization (WiS) initiative to support the retention and advancement of women in the structured finance industry through the delivery of related content and connections to peers, mentors and sponsors. In January of this year, SFA launched a racial diversity initiative with the goal of developing and advancing standards to ensure meaningful opportunities for underrepresented diverse professionals, and all of the keynote speakers at the organization’s annual conference in 2020 were women or people of color. The trade group recently established a fund to provide scholarships to eligible students attending the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate finance, accounting, or economics degree and is in concurrent discussions with UDC regarding non-financial partnerships, including curriculum input, educational briefings, job search support, informal mentorship opportunities, and full-time paid summer internships. SFA is also in discussions with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute to build fellowship and mentorship programs for students interested in careers in the securitization industry.