The SFAA Board of Directors affirms its commitment to diversity, as well as its commitment to enhancing access to bonding for emerging contractors, through the Development and Diversity Advisory Committee. This Committee has as its diversity objective the development and implementation of strategies for increasing the number of minority surety and fidelity professionals in the industry. After its formation in September of 2001, the Committee focused primarily on developing and implementing an action plan that included establishing surety and fidelity industry scholarship and intern programs for promising minority college students.
In implementing this mandate, SFAA has undertaken a significant effort to identify the obstacles (both real and perceived) to increasing minority participation in the surety and fidelity industry, to develop strategies which address these obstacles and that are consistent with the corporate and human resource objectives and practices of the SFAA member companies, and to work with the companies to implement these strategies for maximum industry impact. In 2005, SFAA launched The Surety Foundation - a stand-alone education organization - to serve as the vehicle to fund and administer the scholarship and intern programs.
Other activities under this mandate have included:
Curriculum Development: SFAA is working with educational professionals to develop a set of curriculum modules on various aspects of surety and fidelity for potential inclusion in business course offerings for undergraduates. Once developed, the modules would be tested in a pilot environment (such as a historically-Black college or university) and then made available for use on a broader scale. This activity could greatly enhance awareness of the surety and fidelity industry among university officials and the students we wish to recruit.
Training Programs: SFAA member companies are being urged to re-establish or expand their formal training programs so that new recruits, especially minority recruits, would better understand and adapt to the industry.
Mentoring: SFAA promotes incorporating a mentoring component as part of any surety company training program. In addition to this formal mentoring, informal mentoring/networking among minority and women surety and fidelity professionals is being encouraged and promoted.