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The Futures Industry Association (FIA) is adopting a new commitment to promote increased diversity in the futures industry.

Amid concerns about the dramatic under-representation of women in the upper levels of management in the financial industry, the international industry trade group announced the launch of a new board-level initiative that aims to foster diversity both within the FIA itself and in the industry overall. To start, the group is focusing on gender, acknowledging that “all areas of diversity and inclusion deserve recognition in our industry.”

Alicia Crighton of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, who is also chairwoman of the FIA board’s new diversity committee, said in a statement: “When companies foster a climate of diversity, it is my belief that they work better, smarter and are more productive.

“FIA alone cannot solve this problem,” Crighton added, “but by raising awareness and focusing on how this industry needs to be more inclusive and promote diversity, we can make the changes that will help companies succeed.”

The FIA notes that recent research indicates that women account for only 15% of industry executives and 26% of senior management. The group plans to raise awareness of this issue through its global conferences and by boosting female participation in its various programs.