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FIA Announces Diversity Initiative

FIA Announces Diversity Initiative

12 March 2019 8:15pm EDT

Boca Raton, FL – FIA’s Board of Directors today announced a new board-level initiative to encourage and support diversity in the futures industry.

The mission statement of the new initiative states that:

FIA recognizes the benefits that diversity and inclusion can bring to an organization. FIA is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion and will strive to encourage, support and celebrate the diverse voices both within the organization and the industry at large.

Diversity encompasses a range of human differences. All areas of diversity and inclusion deserve recognition in our industry. FIA’s focus on gender diversity is a starting point.

The board-level initiative is supported by a committee, chaired by FIA Board member Alicia Crighton (Goldman Sachs) who is joined by other board members including FIA Chair Jerome Kemp (Citigroup Global Markets), Vice Chair Nicholas Rustad (J.P. Morgan Securities), and Secretary Najib Lamhaouar (HSBC Bank plc), as well as the President of FIA’s Operations Americas Division Maria Mancusi (ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago), and FIA executives COO Jackie Mesa, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Allison Lurton and CCO Emma Davey.

According to a recent Mercer study on diversity in financial services, women occupy just 15 percent of executive jobs and only 26 percent at the senior manager level.  The result of this study means that as women progress higher in their careers, there are fewer opportunities in the top ranks of companies.  This issue is particularly problematic for women of color.  FIA plans on addressing this topic throughout its many global conferences, targeting greater participation by women on programs and raising awareness of the issue throughout its panels.

“When companies foster a climate of diversity, it is my belief that they work better, smarter and are more productive,” said Diversity Committee Chair and FIA Board Member Alicia Crighton.  “FIA alone cannot solve this problem, but by raising awareness and focusing on how this industry needs to be more inclusive and promote diversity, we can make the changes that will help companies succeed.”

“I am extremely proud that the board of FIA has formed this committee and is willing to take on this issue in our industry,” said FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken. “On behalf of the board of directors, this initiative will continue to increase speaker diversity on our conference programs as well as raise the topic frequently and forcefully. Our keynote speaker at this year’s Boca conference illustrates this intention – with the founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani highlighting the importance of fostering diversity in the technology space.”

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