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WSJ: Financial Industry Leads S&P 500 in Workforce Diversity

A recent report from a Wall Street Journal study holds good news for diversity and inclusion in the financial industry. Banks and insurance companies are among the most diverse in the S&P 500 industries, according to WSJ data. The report attributed the numbers to the banking industry’s attempts to address pay and other disparities to settle racial and gender bias claims over the last decades as well as regulations that encourage firms to measure their diversity policies and practices. The report also notes increasing competition to attract and retain younger workers and efforts to reach an increasingly diverse customer base. According to theWSJ, diversity and inclusion appear to be good for business. WSJ research showed that the 20 most diverse firms in its rankings have an average operating profit margin of 12%, compared with 8% for the lowest-ranking companies. The study also found that female representation on boards overall remains fairly low across the S&P 500, with less than 2% of S&P 500 boards consisting of 50% or more women, while 77% have boards where more than two-thirds of directors are male.

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