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Our Commitment to Achieving Arbitrator Diversity

FINRA Dispute Resolution Services strives to provide a fair, efficient and effective forum for investors, brokerage firms, and their registered employees to resolve their securities disputes.  FINRA recognizes the importance of providing a diverse pool of arbitrators from which parties can choose. 

FINRA Dispute Resolution Services has embarked on an aggressive campaign to recruit new arbitrators with a particular focus on adding arbitrators from diverse backgrounds, professions, and geographical locations by:

  • conducting outreach to more than 100 minority and women's organizations
  • attending conferences that attract individuals of varied backgrounds
  • networking and hosting events with diversity-based organizations

To track our progress, we have hired third-party consultants to survey—on an anonymous and voluntary basis—the demographics of the neutrals on our roster since 2017. In sharing our findings, FINRA strives to provide transparency about the current makeup of our arbitrator roster.

While we are encouraged by the recent results and incremental progress made, we recognize this is a long-term effort. There is more progress to make, and we remain fully committed toward achieving our diversity goals.

"It's vitally important that our pool of arbitrators reflects the varied backgrounds of the parties who use the FINRA arbitration forum. We have bolstered our recruitment efforts, both in terms of increasing the numbers and diversity—in age, gender, race, and occupation—and we continue working toward this goal."

Richard W. Berry
FINRA Executive Vice President and Director of Dispute Resolution Services

Arbitrators

Neutral Demographics – Gender

 2022 Survey2021 Survey2020 Survey2019 Survey2018 Survey2017 Survey
DemographicJoined October
2021 - 2022
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2020 - 2021
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2019 - 2020
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2018 - 2019
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2017 - 2018
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2016 - 2017
Overall
Roster
Male52%65%54%66%58%69%60%69%60%70%62%72%
Female47%33%45%32%40%30%39%29%37%27%35%25%

Neutral Demographics – Race

 2022 Survey2021 Survey2020 Survey2019 Survey2018 Survey2017 Survey
DemographicJoined October
2021 - 2022
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2020 - 2021
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2019 - 2020
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2018 - 2019
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2017 - 2018
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2016 - 2017
Overall
Roster
Caucasian65%76%63%78%70%81%71%81%76%83%69%84%
Black or African-American20%12%23%11%14%9%19%9%15%7%15%6%
Hispanic or Latino5%5%7%5%3%4%6%5%8%4%4%4%
Asian5%3%4%2%4%2%3%2%1%2%4%2%
Multi-Racial6%4%6%3%3%3%4%3%4%2%4%2%
American Indian or Alaska Native0%0%1%0%0%0%0%0%0%<1%1%0%

Neutral Demographics – LGBTQ Status

 2022 Survey2021 Survey2020 Survey2019 Survey2018 Survey2017 Survey
DemographicJoined October
2021 - 2022
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2020 - 2021
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2019 - 2020
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2018 - 2019
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2017 - 2018
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2016 - 2017
Overall
Roster
LGBTQ9%5%5%4%2%3%4%3%5%3%2%2%

Neutral Demographics – Age

 2022 Survey2021 Survey2020 Survey2019 Survey2018 Survey2017 Survey
DemographicJoined October
2021 - 2022
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2020 - 2021
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2019 - 2020
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2018 - 2019
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2017 - 2018
Overall
Roster
Joined October
2016 - 2017
Overall
Roster
70 or older14%42%10%40%14%44%17%43%12%38%18%39%
61 to 6925%29%27%31%36%30%33%29%28%26%30%27%
60 or younger60%29%63%29%50%25%50%28%45%20%51%29%

Note: DataStar, a leading provider of survey management services, conducted the 2021 and 2022 surveys. Consulting firm Alight Solutions conducted the surveys from 2017 to 2020. Neutral responses were completely voluntary, confidential and anonymous. In the 2022 survey, the overall response rate was 31%. In the 2021 survey, the overall response rate was 32%. In the 2020 survey, the overall response rate was 37%. In the 2019 survey, the overall response rate was 39%. In the 2018 survey, the overall response rate was 39%. In the 2017 survey, the overall response rate was 37%.

Prior to 2019, the survey did not require respondents to answer all questions, which accounts for a discrepancy in the total number of responses in some categories.


Mediators

We separately polled FINRA mediators in the annual survey. The statistics below for the entire mediator roster also includes mediators who are arbitrators.

Demographic202220212020201920182017
Gender 
Male68%68%71%72%70%74%
Female29%25%26%23%27%23%
Age 
70 or older49%46%51%53%37%46%
61 to 6931%36%33%28%26%31%
60 or younger20%17%16%19%20%21%
Race / Ethnicity 
Caucasian76%79%79%80%82%81%
Black or African American14%8%8%6%7%4%
Hispanic or Latino6%6%3%4%4%3%
Asian1%1%1%1%2%<1%
Multi-Racial5%4%4%4%2%3%
American Indian or Alaska Native0%1%0%0%<1%1%
LGBTQIA+ Status3%5%1%4%3%2%

Interested in joining FINRA's arbitrator roster? Visit our Become an Arbitrator webpage or contact us by email or (212) 858-4283.

Interested in joining FINRA's mediator roster? Visit our Become a Mediator webpage or contact us by email or (561) 416-0277.