Diversity leaders better hope Wall Street feels like volunteering.

On June 10, the diversity and inclusion standards outlined in Section 342 of the Dodd Frank Act went into place at six federal agencies. Because the section includes no enforcement mechanism, the evaluation and reporting processes it calls for are interpreted as voluntary rather than mandatory.

But not everyone is skeptical at the voluntary approach. Brian Pedrow, partner at law firm Ballard Spahr, said organizations have started recognizing the affects diversity and inclusion have on innovation. More minority clients in the future also means more importance placed on seeing diverse leadership in the financial sector.

“When I’m asked by a client whether they should worry about this, I ask ‘Do you want to skip out on it when the rest of the industry doesn’t?’” Pedrow said. “‘We opted to ignore that’ won’t look good.”

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