The Power of Diversity and Inclusion in Compliance | Article


The International Compliance Association (ICA) is a professional membership and awards body. The ICA is the world’s leading provider of certified professional qualifications in the field of anti-money laundering; governance, risk and compliance; and the prevention of financial crime. CIA members are recognized globally for their commitment to compliance best practices and an enhanced professional reputation. To find out more, visit ICA website.

Panelists discussed how D&I initiatives impact their own lives and why developing effective D&I policies and procedures within a company is critical to attracting and retaining talent.

Diversity for Business Growth

More than ever, employees are choosing to work for companies that match their own beliefs and moral values. They judge companies not only on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals or their inclusive hiring practices, but on the extent to which they put those measures into practice.

Additionally, compliance professionals rarely look to hold an entry-level position for the rest of their lives. They are looking for a career, with a real promise of progression. If a company does not show that it is diverse and inclusive at all levels – if all employees see at higher levels is the same homogeneous group of people – then workers will recognize that there is a barrier to their career development. and will go to a place that will allow them to grow according to their talents.

A business can also set itself up for failure if it neglects to ensure it has a diversity of thought and knowledge. Rickett gave an example of how, while working in the Middle East, he had a preconceived idea of ​​what money laundering and terrorist financing looked like.

In his own words, “Failing to recruit a diverse team likely resulted in money laundering due to issues we couldn’t see or issues we couldn’t stop.”

It was only by working with a diverse team that knew what to look for in different cultures and a new recruiting campaign of diverse intelligence analysts that an accurate picture of the company’s risk exposure was captured.

Diversity for our customers

“Compliance is customer-driven,” said Kalissa Thomas-Mestanas, chief compliance officer at Kroo. “When you have diverse people, you will get a diverse result. … Our clients are not all the same; they have different needs.

A company with a diverse group of employees is better equipped not only to handle customer issues and problems in real time, but also to be able to plan for future needs, putting policies and procedures in place before problems only arise so that they can be dealt with. more efficiently and treated customers more fairly.

Diversity for our employees

A company’s reputation can be damaged by poor staff retention, a lack of diversity of knowledge and thought, or an inability to meet customer or business needs. But we can’t forget how damaging a lack of D&I is “to individuals and human beings when we don’t treat them as the unique individuals they are,” said Jenny Hinde, executive director of The Clear Company. .

Paul Asare-Archer, head of the compliance and privacy team at Virgin Media O2, echoed this by explaining that he didn’t realize he had hidden parts of his life experience.

“I wanted my color to be invisible,” he said. “I didn’t want to talk about my working-class past. … I got into organizations where there was talk of inclusivity … and I became a better leader. … I’m a completely different person.

Strategies for a more diverse workplace

Panelists also shared D&I strategies they had seen work. They agreed that it was crucial to create spaces for people to talk about themselves, their challenges and their experiences and to break down the barriers that prevent people from talking about the issues they face. Senior leadership buy-in, the panel said, will help bring a D&I agenda to the fore and support real change.

One of the most prescient comments came from Asare-Archer, who referred to authenticity as “the key to D&I.”

“If you have an authentic environment, authentic leadership, that really unleashes talent in your individuals,” he said. “It’s just a really practical thing to think about.”

Authenticity, coupled with a firm and proactive approach to implementing D&I measures, will help any organization and its employees protect themselves against risk, broaden their horizons and discover new opportunities for growth.

The International Compliance Association is a sister society of Compliance Week. Both organizations are under the umbrella of Wilmington plc.


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