Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are business imperatives for State Street. DEI is also a reflection of our clients, employees and communities. It is a crucial ingredient for adding value when it comes to spurring new ways of thinking and attracting the next generation of talent.
Over the last few years, we have strengthened our commitment to working toward a more just and equitable future. As we continue to progress these efforts, it is important to look at our business practices through the lens of justice and equity. As part of this commitment to transparency, accountability and action, we announced in November 2021 that we would undertake an independent Civil Rights audit.
We engaged a Washington, DC-based national civil rights law firm, Relman Colfax, to conduct an audit focused on our products and services and whether our business policies, practices, and products/services have advanced Civil Rights for protected classes in the US and/or how they might in the future. Relman provided a diverse audit team with deep civil rights experience derived from ardent representation of under-represented groups. Relman Colfax also counsels financial institutions and other organizations that are committed to promoting civil rights, advancing equity and inclusivity.
This audit serves as a next step in strengthening our civil rights programs and initiatives, including establishing our 10 Actions to Address Racism and Inequality, engaging in a third-party evaluation of our grant portfolio within our State Street Foundation Massachusetts program from an equity perspective, and our commitment to the Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), Black Equity at Work (BEW) and Hispanic Equity at Work (HEW) Certification programs. We have recently achieved the BEW Bronze Certification, and are among one of the first organizations to become plan approved for Hispanic Equity at Work.
Relman identified specific focus areas and findings, which are addressed in greater detail in the report.
The audit has provided recommended actions for us to consider moving forward to establish State Street as an industry leader in advancing civil rights and racial equity, and suggested we put mechanisms in place to monitor effectiveness. The audit commended State Street for our transparency and cooperation throughout the process, as well as our strong commitment to advancing civil rights and racial equity.
We are proud that many of Relman’s recommendations already exist in some form within our business practices and represent suggestions as to where we might be more intentional and prescriptive. We have initiatives in place to address many of the top-line recommendations, and we look forward to furthering this work.
This imperative is fueled by our business strategy and how the work helps us achieve our goals, including generating value for our clients and shareholders, developing a vibrant workforce in a talent-driven market, succeeding in an increasingly competitive environment, and realizing an even greater impact in the communities in which we live and work.
A link to the full audit report is below. We will continue to communicate our progress in this space, and thank you for your continued support and partnership.