Minorities in Banking: Continuing the Conversation

August 12, 2016
By Brian Kantanka


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In the United States of the early 2040s, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other people of color combined are expected to comprise a majority of the U.S. population. Amid that shift, will a banking and financial services industry currently dominated by white, male, senior-level professionals have followed suit? A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows 89 percent of senior-level professionals in the financial services industry are white. Similarly, a recent NAACP “report card” on diversity efforts at five major U.S. banks failed to issue an overall grade higher than C. This struggle with diversity continues even as a sharply increasing number of educated minorities are entering the workforce. A study from The Education Trust shows that among the 255 public institutions that improved graduation rates and enroll a sizable number of minority students, 77 percent raised graduation rates for underrepresented minority students, including African-American, Hispanic and Native American students.

This backdrop helps highlight the need for a forum for minority bankers, to provide them with industry knowledge and leadership development that will enhance their careers and networks. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which continues to promote and support a commitment to a diverse workforce to meet its current and future challenges, will host its first Forum for Minority Bankers, Sept. 28-29 in Kansas City, Mo. The forum will feature diverse guest lecturers and address the economy, the U.S. payments system and career and leadership strategies.

Andrea Hendricks, assistant vice president and deputy director of the KC Fed’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, said: “For us, as the central bank of the country, we have to model the way; we are setting the example. If we are to examine areas of our priorities, we also must have a diverse and inclusive mindset, to hold ourselves accountable just as well as we hold others accountable.” 

For more information and to register for the Forum for Minority Bankers visit: https://www.kansascityfed.org/community/events/minority-bankers-forum

For more information about the Bank’s diversity and inclusion efforts visit: https://www.kansascityfed.org/~/media/files/publicat/aboutus/2015-omwi-congress-report.pdf


About the Author

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Brian Kantanka is an analyst intern in Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He plans to graduate in May 2018 from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and a minor in statistics. Brian is an active volunteer and enjoys public speaking, hiking, and reading.