As a public service organization entrusted with safeguarding America’s investors and ensuring a vibrant market that works for everyone, responsible citizenship is embedded in everything we do at FINRA. These responsibilities dictate that we act in ways that strengthen our workplace, our industry and our communities.
We have centered our corporate social responsibility program to reflect our mission—investor protection and market integrity—by focusing on three key areas: shared economic opportunity, diversity and inclusion and community service.
Areas of Focus
1. Economic opportunity
Through the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, FINRA builds sustainable, inclusive financial capability initiatives that help U.S. adults from diverse backgrounds—especially lower income working Americans and families—save and invest for life goals and guard against fraud. Much of this work is accomplished in partnership with organizations that share a deep commitment to the Foundation’s mission and recognize that improving financial capability requires a strong commitment to racial, ethnic, gender and economic justice.
We inform. The FINRA Foundation’s ongoing U.S. National Financial Capability Study and other research illustrate the need to empower all U.S. adults, particularly underserved segments of the population, with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. Rigorous data collection and analysis help guide policymakers and educators to improve consumer financial outcomes and address systemic socio-economic inequities.
We educate. Through our website and digital channels, we equip retail investors with access to unbiased financial resources and information. We also engage face-to-face with active and aspiring investors at Investor Forums across the country—and we assist older investors who have concerns about their brokerage accounts and investments through our Securities Helpline for Seniors®.
2. Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to ensuring that every employee has the opportunity to thrive and contribute their unique talents to our organization, because when we work together, we are stronger.
We hire diverse talent. FINRA aspires to build a network of employees as diverse as the world around us and emphasizes the importance of diversity in the workplace. We are proud to be nationally recognized by the Human Rights Campaign, Diversity Inclusion Index, Working Mother, Computerworld and others for our hiring practices and culture.
We foster inclusion. We are committed to the belief that each of our colleagues—no matter who they are or where they come from—deserves a supportive environment where they can reach their full potential and perform their best work in support of FINRA’s mission. We offer a number of programs, educational opportunities and resources for all our employees, many of which are overseen by our Diversity Leadership Council. And we are dedicated to facilitating courageous conversations and support an award-winning Employee Resource Group program with 10 different groups.
See more about how we do this on our Diversity and Inclusion page and review our Diversity and Inclusion Report - 2020 Year in Review to learn more about the progress FINRA has made in 2020.
3. Community service
We’re committed to making the communities we share stronger and supporting economic opportunity for all.
We volunteer. FINRA employees receive paid volunteer days off as part of a broader benefits package—and, in an average year, our employees perform an average of 12,000 volunteer hours annually in support of civic and humanitarian causes like hurricane relief efforts, medical research, food supply programs and financial literacy.
We donate. FINRA offers a robust Workplace Giving program, allowing employees a range of ways to contribute to their favorite 501(c)(3) charities and providing dollar for dollar matches up to $1 million to more than three dozen designated causes. Plus, each of our 10 Employee Resource Groups has the opportunity to select an additional charity annually to be included in our workplace matching program.
- Racial Justice Task Force
FINRA’s Racial Justice Task Force is responsible for identifying steps FINRA can take to advance racial justice, continue to foster greater inclusiveness and eliminate prejudice within our organization, our communities and the securities industry.
- FINRA Diversity Leadership Summit
FINRA’s Diversity Summit provides a forum for diversity practitioners and business leaders in the securities industry to share ideas and effective practices to promote inclusion in the workplace.
- SIE® Exam and FINDTM
In 2018, FINRA introduced the Securities Industry Essentials® (SIE) Exam, an introductory-level exam open to anyone over the age of 18, in an effort to increase access to the securities industry. Candidates are not required to have prior industry experience and can take the exam without a job offer from a firm. In further support of broadening access to the securities industry, FINRA also offers the Financial Industry Networking Directory (FIND)™, a free service that helps connect individuals who have enrolled to take the SIE with financial services firms recruiting for full-time employee and interns.
- FINRA Foundation Research
The Foundation serves as a repository for data describing the financial capability of American households. It interprets this data and enables research to help decision-makers and practitioners advance financial well-being in communities nationwide and address the unique challenges of different demographic groups. The Foundation also has an active research agenda focusing on financial fraud in America, and it sponsors a variety of studies to help us understand what works when it comes to financial education and protection.