On October 16, 2020, the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) conducted the 2020 Annual Summit. Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the event gathered more than 100 decision makers, thought leaders, and business leaders from approximately 15 Chicago-area financial services firms.

The theme of the conference was “Advancing Equity: From Ideas to Action,” and sessions highlighted breaking research, recommendations and best practices, how to have constructive and courageous conversations, and a fireside chat on measuring the metrics around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recent research examined the representation and experiences of Black and Latinx members of our industry against their white counterparts. The data displayed the progress that has been made and stressed critical areas of action going forward.

Following the presentation, attendees heard personal experiences of how minorities feel in the industry. The dialogue centered around how they are driving change and creating authentic conversations to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion professionally and personally.  The second half of the day focused on moving the DEI needle by organizing metrics and solution. The fireside chat touched on best practices for communicating, tracking, and measuring DEI progress and success. Attendees heard tactical ways on how to advance DEI, strategies, and racial equity. Highlights of the discussion included specific steps taken and valuable insights to advance cultural and enterprise efforts.

A post-conference survey showed that over 85% of attendees thought the summit was relevant, timely and engaging.

Quotes from event attendees:

  • I am pretty sure that we don’t actually “wake up”, but instead we repeatedly “wake” as we become more aware and sensitized to the experiences of people of color. The FSP provides a forum for us to learn, to grow, and to continue to become more aware and awake to the realities of others. (Rebecca C.)
  • The panels were meaningful; I appreciate their candor and willingness to share personal experiences openly. The keynote speaker was dynamic and provided a different way of solving the representation problem in Chicago. (Anon)
  • It is always beneficial and motivating to hear others’ voices. It helps me understand similar and other roadblocks other cultures are facing. The event is a great reminder to continue to progress our inclusion efforts and what I can do individually to help. (Miguel R.)


View the agenda from the conference.