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The sweeping Dodd-Frank reform included a little-known provision governing diversity. It required the CFPB and other federal agencies, including the Fed, OCC, and FDIC, to establish their own Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI).  If you’re engaging women-owned and minority-owned firms, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re probably complying with the diversity standards being set by the CFPB’s OMWI.  If you’re not doing so, you may want to read on.

One of the most important tasks Dodd-Frank assigned to each OMWI was the development of standards to assess the diversity policies and practices relating to employment and third party contracting of the institutions regulated by the OMWI’s agency.  Last year the CFPB and the other agencies set standards to measure whether lenders are encouraging diversity in their policies and business practices, which includes their third-party relationships and their work with contractors.

Here are three things you need to know—and how we can help.

1. Your diversity efforts will be monitored. The CFPB’s OMWI created final diversity standards last year, requiring mortgage companies to conduct annual self-assessments of their diversity policies. These include increasing participation when it comes to contracting women-owned and minority-owned businesses. Contractors can include third-party product and service providers, including marketing and public relations agencies like Strategic Vantage.

2. Diversity is smart business. Forget for a second that the CFPB’s diversity requirements are yet one more thing lenders must comply with. Multiple studies—including a 2013 Harvard Business Review study—have shown that companies that pursue diversity in their hiring and business practices are more likely to experience growth in market share and drive innovation. In addition, scientific research has shown that working with people of different backgrounds forces people to consider different points of view—which leads to better problem solving and new ideas.

3. Strategic Vantage is a woman-owned business. It has been since 2002, when I founded the company after seeing a void in agencies built to serve our industry’s unique marketing and publicity needs. As a woman-owned business, Strategic Vantage can help companies demonstrate diversity in their business practices, including compliance with the new OMWI standards.

Contracting with Strategic Vantage will not only help your diversity goals. It can transform your company’s results, too. Think about our industry’s greatest success stories. Behind each one, a major marketing and publicity effort took place to improve name recognition, generate leads and increase sales. After all, there are many great products and services in the world, but the only winners are those we hear about—which is why it’s so critical to be heard, loudly, clearly and often.

Interested in finding out more? Email me at

By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage


For Reference:

CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion issues annual report

Dodd-Frank Text from 2010

Why Diversity Matters: McKinsey & Company

How Diversity Makes Us Smarter: Scientific American