SubPrime Auto Finance News

Following emotional U.S. House committee testimony by a senior enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about alleged discrimination happening within the agency, the bureau’s director said the agency has “been doing some hard thinking” about its diversity policies.

Two days after Angela Martin told lawmakers about her ordeal at the bureau that according to her account goes back nearly two years, CFPB director Richard Cordray shared how the bureau is approaching diversity during the annual economic summit hosted by the Greenlining Institute, which was founded in 1993 as a policy, research, organizing, and leadership organization working for racial and economic justice.

“We have also been doing some hard thinking about how we can better achieve diversity and inclusion within our own workplace, and we appreciate Greenlining’s insights toward this end. We understand diversity as a core principle and a way of being, rather than just a series of occasional check-the-box exercises,” Cordray said. “We have set high standards for ourselves and our work, as reflected in our high levels of diversity in hiring and contracting. But meeting these standards across the board requires commitment at the highest levels, and that must begin with me as the head of the agency.”

Cordray went on to defend the bureau’s policies and practices.

“Increasingly, we are focused on achieving diversity and inclusion not only in hiring and contracting, but also in matters of our culture and the career development of our colleagues. Issues have arisen within the bureau that bring these considerations into sharp relief, and we are determined to address them appropriately to make sure our own employees are being treated fairly, just as we insist that financial institutions must treat consumers fairly,” he said.

“Quite simply, we cannot afford sameness and groupthink,” Cordray continued. “We are standing up for all Americans in the consumer financial marketplace, and we need to understand the broad and varying outlook of those we serve. Diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences are important assets in carrying out our mission. Our immediate goal is to create a workplace where we can, individually and collectively, do our best work to improve the lives of consumers across this country.”

The CFPB has come under fire for its treatment of Martin, who described her story in detail to the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. A report from SubPrime Auto Finance News recapping that hearing can be found here.