Diverse Voices

Derivatives professionals share personal stories of challenges and success

As part of an ongoing commitment at FIA to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in our industry, members of the derivatives community share their experiences and discuss areas of D&I that need greater focus.



Qualified black candidates are plentiful, just not yet represented

"There are tons of qualified black and minority candidates out there, but you don't see them represented well at the top of the org chart," says Darryl Blakey,  Policy Advisor to the Chairman and Associate Director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He also says paid internships can help build a young pool of talent that will become future leaders for the industry.

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'Honest, intentional, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations'

Keisha Bell, Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement at DTCC, notes that it's crucial to actively talk about race in the workplace. "It’s a small step but also revolutionary, given how much effort we have put into keeping our professional lives separate from the catastrophic impact of racism that is still pervasive in our society," Bell says.

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Opportunities haven't grown in kind with markets

Doug Harris, Managing Director at Promontory Financial, says the derivatives industry has improved but still has blind spots on race. He also says that while unconscious bias is a factor, some behavior cannot be excused as anything other than outright racism. 

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De'Ana Dow

More work to do on racial diversity

De'Ana Dow, Partner and General Counsel at Capitol Counsel, says the derivatives industry has made progress on gender diversity but the lack of racial diversity is glaring. 

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Gary John-Baptiste

A top-down approach to diversity and inclusion

Gary John-Baptiste, ABN AMRO Clearing's Chief Commercial Officer for Asia Pacific, believes an environment that welcomes a greater variety of thought will lead to improved performance and a competitive edge for firms. 

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Pamela Jones

Putting equality into practice

Pamela Jones, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Genesis Consultancy and former Head of Operational Change and Integration at TP ICAP, says that while firms talk about diversity and inclusion, many fall short on delivery. 

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Petal Walker

The power of support and mentorship

Petal Walker, Special Counsel at law firm WilmerHale, talks about the role models in her career, unconscious bias in the industry, and her hopes for future generations. 

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Sponsors are key to solving lack of diversity

Carl Kennedy, Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, says it is important for senior leaders in the derivatives industry to mentor and provide advancement opportunities to smart, bright people of color. 

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Jamila Piracci

Diversity unlocks innovation

Jamila Piracci, Senior Director at Patomak Global Partners, says diverse, inclusive teams bring new ideas and perspectives to a business.

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Roger Chandler

The importance of ethnic minority representation

Roger Chandler, Senior Sales Engineer, Europe at Eventus Systems, says more support and representation within companies and the industry is needed for young black people.

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meher thumbnail

On diversity issues, “we can’t just talk about change then do nothing”

Meher Sutaria, Global Head of Equities Regulatory Reporting and EMEA Head of Global Clearing Operations at JP Morgan, says people who have not embraced inclusion will lose credibility.

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FIA Diversity & Inclusion Initiative

  • Read more about the FIA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

    FIA’s Board-level Diversity Committee aims to address the importance of diversity and inclusion in the cleared derivatives industry. FIA recognizes the benefits that diversity and inclusion can bring to an organization and will strive to encourage, support and celebrate the diverse voices both within the organization and the industry at large.