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A Statement to our FEI Chicago Membership

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We hope that each of you and your loved ones are well and safe. 

We can only imagine that each of you is grieved and disturbed by the events that have unfolded in the last two weeks. We know many of us are grieving and, as a society, doing much listening and self-reflecting.

As leaders in the financial community and as financial leaders within organizations, we are called upon to respond to these challenging circumstances.  FEI Chicago is proud to support you with resources and forums that better equip you to lead your business and serve your community on the important topics of equity, economic inequality, and racial injustice. Below you will find an overview of the specific work that FEI Chicago is doing to advance equality within our organization, along with the offerings that will be available to support our members.

Over the past several years FEI Chicago has actively pursued diversity and inclusion initiatives.   As of January 2020, our statistics show that financial leaders of color are grossly underrepresented in FEI Chicago’s membership.   While we have made some progress from 2019, it is not nearly enough.  We aspire to a membership mix that fully represent Chicago's rich culture and diversity. It will take time to identify, attract and retain more female, black, minority and early career executives, but we commit to this work and to seeking new and creative ways to reach and engage leaders who are underrepresented in our membership. 

Over the next few months we will proceed, as previously planned, with our board education programming to enhance the inclusivity of our organization. Educating our board and committees (our most influential members) remains our best lever to build an actively inclusive and proudly anti-racist culture that makes us the organization of choice for finance leaders of all backgrounds. 

We will also host a series of Uncomfortable Conversations about Race that will be available to all members. In this virtual series a facilitator will frame the discussion before participants break out into small groups to discuss further.  Participants will be asked to read articles and/or watch videos that support the topic and promote constructive dialogue. This offering fits with our objective to create real, authentic connections speaking to a topic that is front and center for business leaders right now. 

We strongly encourage you to mark your calendar as soon as we announce these dates. Together, we have a unique community of influential executive leaders and the power to help Chicago drive the positive changes we want to see. We look forward to engaging with all of you in what promises to be meaningful and productive conversations, even if they are uncomfortable.

Sincerely,
Your FEI Chicago Board of Directors