Ownership of the companies hired by the SEC became much more diverse over the past decade. The SEC paid $223 million to contractors in 2010 and 10% was paid to minority-owned businesses and 12% went to women-owned businesses. In 2021, the SEC paid $503.8 million to contractors, of which 36.2% was paid to minority- and women-owned businesses.
The non-partisan, non-profit organization Partnership for Public Service ranked the SEC the fourth-best place to work among government agencies in 2021, up from 24th in a 2010 ranking, based on employee surveys.
The SEC has also created initiatives, programming and training, including the UnCovering Task Force, whose mission is to identify and implement strategies to "ensure that employees are comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work, thereby helping them reach their highest potential." The SEC has also held Diversity Dialogues, small group discussions to provide a safe space where employees can candidly discuss sensitive issues surrounding race. Hundreds of SEC employees have participated in those two programs alone, according to the regulator.
Supervisors and managers at the SEC, groups the regulator is especially focusing on, have become more diverse in recent years. From 2019 to 2021, the number of supervisors and managers who were women fell 4.4% to 359, the number of those who were white fell -0.9% to 666, the number of Black managers rose 12.7% to 89, Hispanic grew 9.1% to 48, and the number of Asian managers and supervisors was up 7.4% to 101.
In 2021, minorities held 19.4% of senior officer positions at the SEC, up from 16% in 2020.
Asset managers are increasingly making diversity a priority, but those and other financial services organizations should still consider creating positions dedicated to DEI, according to Ms. Gibbs.
At least one other regulator looked to the SEC as inspiration. In January, Tanisha Cole Edmonds, who participated in the SIFMA panel with Ms. Gibbs, became the first chief diversity officer at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She'll report directly to Rostin Behnam, chairman of the CFTC, who said in a statement that "hiring data shows the CFTC continues to fall short on this critical commitment, specifically when it comes to management level job opportunities. This may be undermining the success of the agency and its individual employees, and it needs to change."