The SF Fed’s Commitment to Equity

Cityscape background image with text overlay that reads: Confronting inequities to meet our mission

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 shows gaps in economic opportunity are costing the U.S. nearly $3 trillion per year in lost economic output, and $70 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.

Evidence: Use data, research, and analysis to fully understand the sources of inequality, the efficacy of solutions, and progress over time. Dialogue: Engage in open conversation about evidence, practice, and outcomes with allies and critics to better inform decision-making. Practice: Evaluate and evolve people processes and policies to increase equity and help guard against the influence of potential biases.

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.

Framework for Change Progress Report Teaser (video, 0:19 minutes).

Transcript

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Framework for Change 2021 Progress Report

[Illustrated image of a diverse group of people]

Why does racial and ethnic equity matter to the San Francisco’s Fed’s mandate?

Read our Framework for Change progress report to learn more.

[Image of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco logo.]

#unreservedopportunity

frbsf.org

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Evidence

We publish research that examines the root causes and consequences of racial economic disparities, as well as the economic gains from racial equity. In February 2021, SF Fed researchers published “The Economic Gains from Equity,” looking at how gender and racial gaps in economic opportunities impact our national economic output. Here is what the numbers told them:

  • Racial and gender inequities cost the U.S. $2.6 trillion in lost GDP in 2019.
  • The annual costs of inequity will continue to grow, reaching an estimated $3.1 trillion in 2029.
  • Persistent inequities over the past 30 years have added up to $70.8 trillion in lost economic output since 1990.

Our findings show that gender and racial economic equity will be critical to increasing economic output and maintaining global competitiveness.

To deepen our understanding of the economic impact of gender and racial inequities in support of our maximum employment mandate, the SF Fed has 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:

Dialogue

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:

Practice

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: 

Recent Publications

SF Fed Blog
Supplier Diversity: Confronting Inequity for Greater Shared Prosperity

Economic Letter
How Do Business Cycles Affect Worker Groups Differently?

Economic Letter
Minority Banks during the COVID-19 Pandemic

SF Fed Blog
How Are Racial and Gender Gaps Limiting the Full Potential of Your State’s Economy?

Community Development Blog
A Thriving Labor Force Starts at Birth: The Role of Community Development in Reducing Racial Health Inequities at Birth

Events

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

Questions?

For more information about our racial equity work, please reach out to us at sf.framework.for.change@sf.frb.org

For media inquiries, please contact Tom Flannigan