Lael Brainard: Labor market disparities and economic performance

Speech by Ms Lael Brainard, Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at "Banking and the Economy: A Forum for Minority Bankers", a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, 27 September 2017.

Central bank speech  | 
12 October 2017

I would like to thank President George and her staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for inviting me to participate in today's conference, which is a joint effort of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Richmond, and St. Louis as well as the Federal Reserve Board.

Diversity in Financial Services

As you may know, this is the second minority bankers forum hosted by the Federal Reserve System. Diversity and inclusion are important to the strength of the banking industry, and therefore I am pleased that the Federal Reserve System is sponsoring this conference. Among other benefits, diversity and inclusion strengthen organizations by improving deliberations and decisionmaking. Banks with more diverse workforces are also better able to reach broader groups of customers, especially customers who have historically been underbanked, when they show that serving those customers is a top priority. One of the most effective ways of showing a commitment to a diverse customer base is showing a commitment to a diverse workforce.