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Scott Resolution Encourages Diverse Hiring Standards Across Country

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) talks with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) outside the Senate chamber on Sept. 13, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is leading a bipartisan group of lawmakers encouraging diverse recruitment in senior-level positions across the hiring spectrum.

The resolution cites the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for coaching and general manager positions, as an example to emulate.

“In the 80 years between the hiring of Fritz Pollard as coach of the Akron Pros and the implementation of the Rooney Rule in 2003, only 7 minority head coaches were hired but, since 2003, 15 minority head coaches have been hire,” the Senate resolution states. “Whereas the Rooney Rule has demonstrated that once highly qualified and highly skilled diversity candidates are given exposure during the hiring process, the abilities of those diversity candidates can be better utilized.”

Fewer than 10 percent of chief financial officers at the top 668 companies in the United States are African-American, Hispanic, or Asian, Scott’s resolution notes.

“Underrepresented groups contain members with the necessary abilities, experience, and qualifications for any position available,” it continues, adding that the Rooney Rule and similar initiatives aren’t requirements under the law but “voluntary initiatives instituted by willing entities to provide the human resources necessary to ensure success.”

“Experience has shown that people of all genders, colors, and physical abilities can achieve excellence… ensuring the increased exposure, and resulting increased advancement, of diverse and qualified candidates would result in gains by all people of the United States through stronger economic opportunities.”

The resolution encourages “each corporate, academic, and social entity, regardless of size or field of operation,” to develop similar hiring standards to the Rooney Rule “to ensure that the entity will always consider candidates from underrepresented populations before making a final decision with respect to selecting a business vendor or filling a leadership position.”

Scott’s resolution is co-sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

“We know that all Americans, from every neighborhood and background, have the ability to achieve great things,” Scott said in a statement. “When we are hiring in my office, I have made it a priority to ensure our applicant pool is open to as diverse a group of people as possible.”

“We have seen recent reports regarding the shortage of diverse leaders in both Senate staffing and executive-level staffing across the country, and I believe this resolution is a way to voluntarily tackle that issue,” he added.