FIA strongly believes in the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and works to support and celebrate the diverse voices both within our association and the derivatives industry at large.
In 2019 we created a board-level Diversity Committee comprised of senior representatives from FIA member firms and FIA senior staff to consider practical steps to foster a culture of inclusion in the industry. Chaired by Alicia Crighton of Goldman Sachs, this group ensures the topic of DEI stays on the agenda across FIA events and board discussions and that FIA puts its words into action through mentorship initiatives and other opportunities.
After a busy year in 2021, FIA continued its mission in 2022 to highlight diversity issues in webinars, conference programming and through our communications channels, including MarketVoice articles and podcast interviews.
FIA also used our platform to support and promote the work of The Greenwood Project and the Black Talent Charter in the UK, and began hosting "rising star" networking events to provide opportunities for the next generation of talented individuals to raise their profile.
Here are some of the highlights from 2022:
FIA Board of Directors
In June, FIA announced the election of new directors to its Board of Directors, including the appointment of Goldman Sachs’ Alicia Crighton as its first-ever female chair.
“Alicia’s appointment as the first female chair in FIA’s history is a well-deserved honor, and we hope it provides an example to the next generation of leaders in our industry,” said FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken.
FIA also welcomed additional individuals to its board including Emma Richardson, who runs the global futures and derivatives clearing businesses at JPMorgan Chase and Emma West, who was recently appointed global head of Bank of America’s futures and options and OTC clearing businesses. The two women bring the total number of women on the board to eight. Read about some of the female leaders on the FIA board here.
“FIA has benefitted from the transitions that firms are making and as leadership changes and succession plans come into to play. Previously I was one of two women on the FIA board; now I am one of many and we have other minority groups represented as well,” said Crighton.
Promoting diversity across channels
In 2022, FIA featured dedicated discussions and events promoting diversity and inclusion at our major conferences. At Boca, FIA held a reception honoring NYSE Chair Sharon Bowen for her accomplishments in the industry. FIA's Law & Compliance Division held a roundtable at its annual conference on ways to promote diversity and inclusion in the derivatives industry, hosted by Doug Harris, member of Tellus Markets’ advisory board. At our IDX conference in London, FIA hosted a diversity breakfast where members of the board invited a diverse rising star from within their firm to meet board members, senior members of the FIA management team and hear from an inspiring speaker.
At FIA Expo, The Greenwood Project co-founder Elois Joseph took to the stage with two alumni of the program to discuss the systemic barriers to entry for people of color in the financial services industry and how The Greenwood Project helps talented students overcome these obstacles. In a separate session hosted by Women in Listed Derivatives, female leaders who had recently expanded their roles or taken on new challenges discussed what had influenced and motivated them and gave advice to empower others to do the same.
On our website, we have published articles on MarketVoice about the latest industry diversity initiatives. Our MarketVoice podcasts also feature a conversation with Dr. Mara Antonoff, associate professor of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center, who explained to FIA board member Jamila Piracci her practical approach to inclusive recruitment that can be put into practice regardless of industry or sector.
Other podcasts last year featured Gwyneth Nurse, director general, financial services at HM Treasury, Summer Mersinger, one of four female commissioners at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Verena Ross, chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority.
Rising star diversity breakfasts
Last year FIA hosted several rising star diversity breakfasts at our in-person events and at member firms. These provided opportunities for the next generation of talented individuals to make important connections and raise their profile in the industry. At IDX, Carla Stent, the chair of Marex, gave a talk about her career, shared her views on diversity in the industry and answered questions in a highly interactive discussion. In Chicago, Elois Joseph gave a similar talk to rising stars at a breakfast meeting at FIA Expo.
JP Morgan also hosted an event at its offices in London with Emma Richardson, global head of the bank’s futures and derivatives clearing business, discussing her career, her views on diversity and inclusion and answering questions from attendees. FIA pledged to continue to organize these events in 2023.
Supporting the UK Black Talent Charter
FIA is proud to be a supporter of the Black Talent Charter, an initiative aimed at improving the representation of talented Black professionals in the financial and professional services sectors in the UK and encouraging their progression to senior positions.
Data shows that men and women of Black heritage are the most underrepresented ethnic group in these sectors at senior levels, and that the imbalance has not improved in years. The Charter aims to shift the dial through committed, meaningful action.
The Black Talent Charter takes some of its inspiration from the Women in Finance Charter launched in 2016 by HM Treasury. Its founders aim to increase the number of signatories to the Charter from around 20 currently to 100 or more over the next three years. As a supporter, FIA will promote the charter through our communication channels and IDX conference in London, as well as connect leaders in our network with the Black talent in their network.
The Greenwood Project partnership
FIA is a proud supporter of The Greenwood Project, a non-profit organization focused on introducing Black and Latinx students to careers within the financial industry via paid summer internships in financial firms, academic instruction and mentorships.
To date, The Greenwood Project has placed more than 400 interns in 50 companies around the world. Many of these interns go on to full time jobs in financial services companies. In 2021, FIA announced a partnership with The Greenwood Project to facilitate summer internships with our member companies. Participating member firms include ABN AMRO Clearing, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Cboe Global Markets and CME Group to name just a few.
FIA also hosted Commissioner Kristin Johnson, a commissioner at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for a "lunch and learn" conversation with high school students as part of The Greenwood Project's outreach to young people interested in pursuing careers in financial services. Johnson offered practical advice on how to get started in the workplace and answered questions from students curious about enforcement actions, commodity markets and other topics in CFTC-regulated markets.
Conferences and events
As well as providing forums for discussions, we continue to endeavour to increase the diversity of speakers and participants at our conferences, reflecting the policies of a growing number of our member firms.
Percentages of women speakers in the last year of FIA events were as follows:
Diversity at FIA events 2022:
- Boca: 23%
- L&C: 50%
- FIA/SIFMA AMG Asset Management Derivatives Forum: 43%
- IDX: 28%
- Houston Commodities; 40%
- Frankfurt forum: 38%
- Expo: 32%
- FIA Asia: 33%
Our aim is to have at least 30% diverse speakers at all our conferences and to host panels that include at least one woman or other diverse speaker. While FIA does not control resourcing within our membership community, we do have more influence on the profile of speakers in the area of keynotes. We are particularly proud of the diversity of keynote speakers FIA featured at major conferences in 2022:
- Kristin Johnson, Commissioner, CFTC
- Summer Mersinger, Commissioner, CFTC
- Christy Goldsmith Romero, Commissioner, CFTC
- Gwyneth Nurse, Director General, Financial Services, HM Treasury
- Natasha Kaneva, Head of Global Commodities Research and Head of Oil Research, JP Morgan
- Professor Trevor Williams, Rotating Chair of the Institute of Economic Affairs’ Shadow Monetary Policy Committee
- Katya Adler, Journalist and Broadcaster
- Baratunde Thurston, Writer, Activist & Comedian
The FIA Operations Americas Golf Outing, which took place in the summer, raised money for local charities including The Greenwood Project. FIA’s IDX gala dinner and Boca and Asia golf tournaments raised money for Futures for Kids, a charitable foundation that rises funds for charities supporting the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the world. FFK raises money for organisations such as Leadership through Sport and Business, which prepares bright young people who face disadvantage into secure, sustainable, high-quality careers in finance and other industries.
FIA Diversity Council
Within the association, FIA’s Diversity Council organized training sessions for all staff with outside experts presenting on topics to raise DEI awareness including “If You See Something, Say Something”, “The Power of Identities”, and “Authentic Allyship”.
FIA remains committed to addressing the importance of diversity and inclusion in our industry. This year will see a continuation of our efforts to promote diversity through communications, conference programming and other channels. We believe it is important to work in partnership with the industry broadly and our members in particular to identify practical steps that can be taken to further this initiative. We look forward to building on this in 2023.
We want to hear from you
What is your organization doing in terms of diversity and inclusion? How can FIA partner with such programs or other existing networks to provide meaningful support? What topics would you like to see addressed by FIA on this issue? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.