The tragedy of George Floyd and many others put a spotlight on how Black people continue to face challenges of inequality and injustice. Over the past several months, the Jefferies family came together to reflect upon and discuss how racism, bias and stereotypes limit both the economic and professional opportunities of Black people and other underrepresented minorities. More than 1,500 employees participated in these discussions, which are ongoing. The moving stories shared and sentiment expressed made it clear that Jefferies must take an active role both internally, to strive to have our firm reflect society as a whole, and externally, to create lasting change in the communities in which we live and work. If we all work in earnest to have our firm truly represent society at large, we will be the best we can be and we will achieve our full potential in contributing to our clients and every other constituency we dedicate ourselves to serving. We especially would like to thank every member of our five diversity groups within Jefferies: J-NOBLE, jWIN, JEMS, jMosaic+, and jVETS for leading the way forward and guiding us to achieve our important priorities.
Addressing these issues of utmost importance requires a consistent effort in the short and long term across three key pillars: Firm-Wide Engagement, Senior Leadership Engagement, and Client/Community Engagement. Here is how we plan to help lead these efforts:
Roll out firm-wide Unconscious Bias and Anti-Racism Training for all employees. We must all participate in this important training because, if we are all not in it together, we will never achieve success.
Institute Annual Certification of Jefferies’ Diversity Honor Code.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP ENGAGEMENT
Seek to increase Black and all other minority representation at all levels, with the goal of the Jefferies team reflecting society as a whole.
Work with hiring managers to broaden the scope of Jefferies’ recruiting efforts to include as diverse a slate of candidates as possible in order to identify and hire the best talent at all levels.
Ongoing review of diversity metrics and progress with Jefferies’ leadership and Board of Directors on an annual basis.
CLIENT & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Cultivate diverse client relationships across Equities, Fixed Income, Investment Banking, Research and Corporate.
Support women and minority owned businesses through strategic vendor partnerships.
Participate in annual firmwide efforts of giving and service for social equality.
Find unique ways to leverage the Jefferies platform with all of our capabilities and relationships to enhance diversity, social equality and society overall.
We expect this list to grow and evolve, and we welcome ideas and thoughts from everyone at Jefferies. We believe these actions will contribute positively to our continued evolution as a firm. We are proud of how the Jefferies family has rallied around the reality that we can do better in seeking a just world. We are confident that our entire team will join us in backing up our words with real actions and contributions as we seek to ensure that Jefferies does more than our fair share in helping to make the world ever better. We encourage everyone at Jefferies to continue to personally donate time and resources to the many worthy causes that we have all supported throughout our careers.
Committed to justice and opportunity for all,
Rich and Brian