The SF Fed’s Commitment to Equity
The San Francisco Fed is dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone and helping ensure all Americans have the opportunity to fully realize their potential. We champion equity because research has demonstrated it supports our congressionally mandated mission to promote a healthy and sustainable economy and support the nation’s financial and payment systems. Ensuring that all people can fully participate in the economy will be crucial to faster economic growth and helping our country stay competitive globally.
Inequities translate into real economic losses—stifling growth, capacity, and resilience by leaving millions of people on the sidelines, underutilizing skills, and missing opportunities for innovation. SF Fed research estimates racial and ethnic gaps in economic opportunity are costing the U.S. nearly $3 trillion per year in lost economic output, and $51 trillion over the last 30 years. The cost of these gaps continues to rise.
Our country can only reach its full economic potential when all people have equitable access to economic and educational opportunities. To that end, we are using our tools and responsibilities to help create a healthy and inclusive economy and work environment in which all people can fully contribute their talents and skills—regardless of their race, ethnicity, geographic location, or any other demographic factor.
Our Framework for Change
Our Framework for Change is our commitment to taking action that will result in greater racial and ethnic equity in our organization and the communities we serve across the Federal Reserve’s Twelfth District. The Framework has two major goals: documenting where racial and ethnic inequities exist and how they affect our economy, and taking concrete steps to become a premier public service organization that serves all members of our nation.
We are transparent about our goals, and will publish our progress annually so that we are accountable to ourselves and to the American public. Our first progress report is a summary of the steps we took in 2021 to advance the Framework both inside the San Francisco Fed and across our District.
We publish research that examines the root causes and consequences of racial and ethnic economic disparities, as well as the economic gains from equity. In 2021, SF Fed researchers published “The Economic Gains from Equity,” looking at how racial and ethnic gaps in economic opportunities impact our national economic output. Using this research, here is what our researchers estimated:
- Racial and ethnic inequities cost the U.S. $2.6 trillion in lost GDP in 2019.
- Persistent inequities over the past 30 years have added up to $51 trillion in lost economic output since 1990.
- As the U.S. labor force continues to diversify, the annual costs of inequity will continue to grow.
Our findings show that racial and ethnic economic equity will be critical to increasing economic output and maintaining global competitiveness.
To deepen our understanding of the economic impact of inequities in support of our maximum employment mandate, the SF Fed launched an essay contest for graduate students, calling for essays that address various aspects of gender and racial inequities, their underlying causes, and their economic consequences. In May 2022, we announced that two essays had been selected.
Key publications and resources:
- The Economic Gains from Equity
- Graduate Students Unlock New Insights into Economic Inequity
- Mothers in a Pandemic Labor Force
We engage with business and community leaders to share our research, spark discussions, and identify solutions that address the root causes of disparities.
Key publications and events:
- Financial Inclusion and Beyond podcast
- Under Pain Lives Hope: Zip Code Economies Podcast, Season 1.5
- Racism and the Economy
We are evaluating and evolving our people processes and policies to increase equity and help us guard against the influence of potential biases. We are setting new supplier diversity targets to support small, local, women- and minority-owned businesses. We will also continue our Board and Council diversification efforts to ensure members reflect the Twelfth District’s diversity.
Key publications and programs:
- Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Report
- Moving the Needle on Board Diversity
- SF Fed Internship Program
"#Juneteenth is not just one day, it’s all days.”— San Francisco Fed (@sffed) June 18, 2021
As part of our #Juneteenth2021 efforts, we spoke with Rosemary Turner (Chair of our Board) who shared her experiences on #racialequity in her professional & personal life. Tune in!#JuneteenthAllDays #SFFedEquity pic.twitter.com/Wi7XlRRD4O
How Do Business Cycles Affect Worker Groups Differently?
Minority Banks during the COVID-19 Pandemic
August 25, 2021, Virtual Event
Fintech, Racial Equity, and an Inclusive Financial System
October 14, 2021, Virtual Conference
SF Fed Listens: Equitable Access to Small Business Capital
November 16, 2021, Racism and the Economy Event Series
Racism and the Economy: Focus on Financial Services
For more information about our racial equity work, please reach out to us at email@example.com
For media inquiries, please contact Tom Flannigan.