Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Research shows that diverse teams perform better, innovate more, and are more effective at managing risks. Strong leadership teams that reflect a diversity of skills, experiences, and perspectives are critical to ensuring that companies think outside the box to manage evolving risks and identify growth opportunities. For all of the reasons outlined in its Circular Letter and Industry Letter on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), DFS expects its regulated entities to:
- make the diversity of their leadership a business priority and a key element of their corporate governance,
- focus on their pipeline of future diverse leaders as well as the diversity of the entities with which they do business or are affiliated, and
- treat diversity like other strategic priorities for their businesses, including communicating its importance to all stakeholders, explaining how it will be achieved, setting goals and measuring progress toward those goals.
Diversity Data Collection
Diversity Data Collection
To support the financial services industry’s DEI efforts, DFS is collecting data relating to the gender, racial and ethnic composition of the boards and senior management of New York-regulated insurers with more than $100 million in 2019 New York premiums, banking institutions with more than $100 million in asset size and non-depository institutions with more than $100 million in gross revenue as of December 31, 2020, and all entities authorized to engage in virtual currency business activity.
DFS will review, analyze, and publish the data on an aggregate basis based on the type of regulated entity and other factors. Making that information public will allow companies to assess where they stand compared to their peers and raise the bar for the entire financial services industry.
On March 16, 2021, DFS issued Circular Letter No. 5 (2021) on diversity and corporate governance to all New York domestic and foreign insurance companies.
On July 29, 2021, DFS issued a similar Industry Letter on diversity and corporate governance to all New York-regulated banking institutions and non-depository financial institutions, including virtual currency companies.
DEI in Action Webinar
On July 22, 2021, in response to feedback from the insurance industry, DFS hosted a webinar on actions that insurers can take to increase the diversity of their leadership and broader workforce. The webinar included two panel discussions. The first panel provided perspectives from the C-Suite and the second panel focused on specific DEI practices and initiatives in the insurance industry.
Based on the success of the insurance webinar, DFS is planning additional webinars tailored to other regulated entities and industries to facilitate information and resource sharing.