In March 2016, the Federal Reserve Board (Board) posted the 2016 version of its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI). There has been some attention in inclusion issues by the Congress and the Board’s Office of Inspector General (IG). The blog has covered these developments, and also a long-running case (not mentioned by the OMWI report), Artis v.
Greenspan Bernanke Yellen.
Federal Reserve Board, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Reports to Congress
(Preface language for report submitted in 2015.) “Pursuant to section 342(e) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System must submit an annual report to the Congress outlining the activities, successes, and challenges of the office. This is the office’s report for calendar year 2014. Sheila Clark serves as the director of ODI.”
In reading the 2016 OMWI report, the report has essentially the same content and structure as in 2015, excepting differing numbers, a new table providing some detail of the hires in major job categories (page 7), and brief overview of the Board’s new performance appraisal process. (Details of what the process entails was not described, also the OMWI’s involvement is still mostly passive. Given the issues presented by the IG, this state of affairs remains an issue of moderate to grave concern).
While the new table 4 is welcome, the delineation of non-minority and minority still is obscure, specifically the minority category. Such obscurity can hide issues with specific subgroups under the umbrella of minority.
The Board’s OMWI response of outreach and encouragement in the challenges and next steps subsection seems on its face reasonable, but the IG’s report identified that in 2011-2013, there were many black applicants to the position of research assistant, yet of the thousands of applications, zero of these applicants were hired in 2011 and 2013, and one in 2012. As a result, there is residual skepticism of the Board’s activities and actual result on hiring.