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02/7/2017 | Building a National Campaign for a Strong Economy: Fed Up

Gender, Racial, & Sector Diversity at the Federal Reserve: 2016 vs. 2017

In 2016 the Fed Up campaign at the Center for Popular Democracy published “To Represent the Public: The Federal Reserve’s Continued Failure to Represent the American People.” The report uncovered a shocking lack of gender, racial, and occupational diversity among the Presidents and Boards of Directors at the twelve Federal Reserve Regional Banks. The findings sparked public outcry and led to a coordinated campaign to improve the diversity of the Federal Reserve’s leadership. In May, 127 members of Congress demanded better public representation in a public letter to Chair Janet Yellen and the Board of Governors, prompting Hillary Clinton to announce her support for improved diversity at the Fed. Clinton’s demand was also echoed in the Democratic platform. Since then, numerous members of Congress have followed up with Yellen, including to inquire about diversity considerations in filling the vacancies for President of the Atlanta and Richmond Federal Reserve Banks. This factsheet provides comparison data on 2017 diversity statistics at the Federal Reserve. It demonstrates a persistent lack of diversity and underscores the Fed’s unclear institutional commitment to diversity.