Minorities slightly increased representation among financial industry leadership, report finds – but White men continue to dominate

Slight increases in representation of minorities – that is, racial/ethnic groups other than White – and women in management positions were realized in the financial services industry from 2007 to 2020, according to a report issued Tuesday by the congressional watchdog.

However, the report also shows that White males continue to dominate leadership within the industry, with more than two in every three senior executives; more than four in every five senior execs are White.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said it analyzed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data on diversity in the financial services industry. For 2007-15, the GAO said the EEOC data showed Asian representation increased from 4% to 5%. Black and Hispanic representation was about 3% and female representation remained around 29% in that period.

However, the data analyzed for 2018-20, GAO reported, showed growth of representation for both minorities and women was “relatively flat or marginally increased.” The agency said Black and Hispanic representation remained at about 3% and 4%, respectively, while female representation increased from 31% to 32% in that period.

More specifically, the report stated that gender representation among executive/senior level management in the financial services as of 2020 was 68% male, 32% female. For race/equity representation of executives and senior level leaders, the GAO reported, the breakdown was 85% White, 3% Black, 4% Hispanic, 7% Asian, and 1% categorized as “other.”

Tuesday’s report is based on five past GAO reports (stretching from 2017-21) on diversity efforts in financial services as well as recent EEOC data. The EEOC analysis was of data from 2018 through 2020 on workforce race, ethnicity, and gender in the financial services industry.

Financial Services Industry: Overview of Representation of Minorities and Women and Practices to Promote Diversity