Fed policymakers on why diversity matters and how to get there | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:26 AM, February 28, 2020

Fed policymakers on why diversity matters and how to get there

Several US Federal Reserve policymakers told Reuters why increasing diversity within the US central bank system matters. Here are some highlights:

"The research now is very compelling that homogenous groups are more prone to groupthink that leads to lower quality discourse and lower quality decisions.

"One of the strong findings in the research is that in order to have the best possible decision making, we need a diverse group of leaders. In order to have a diverse group or leaders, we need to bring people up as they progress in their careers and have that same kind of diversity."

"What I think we are still seeing too much of is a reluctance to take a chance on a woman or a minority, particularly when the people making that selection themselves are not very diverse and perhaps might be a little uncomfortable and have a little lack of ability to see how someone who's quite different from who they are - who perhaps came up a different route - could succeed in that position.

"So I think the problem that we still have today is providing enough opportunities for women and minorities to be in leadership positions and then supporting them."

 "By having this diversity of view points in the room, I think it challenges ideas differently and more rigorously. I think it makes deliberation more robust... my work has been much crisper, more precise and less speculative because of the presence of diversity."

"Our board members have been great ambassadors to us in attracting other board members... We do a lot of tracking: we keep a list of potentials from the full district; we track on business sector; we track on size of the business; we track on geography, urban, rural, and then we track on these dimensions of diversity. It is all about the intentionality. We want to make sure that we are hitting on all cylinders on all dimensions."

"During the last 12 years that I've been president, understanding that maximum employment is probably a lower unemployment rate than we thought 12 years ago, and than we thought three to four years ago ... just having more discussion and understanding the benefits are really substantial ...I really do appreciate the contributions that all of my board members have made."

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