WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report Friday to employees detailing its diversity statistics and the racial disparities in performance evaluations reported two weeks ago by American Banker.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray sent the report in an emailed letter to employees encouraging them to be more open about their concerns as well as laying out further steps the agency is taking to improve its culture.

Cordray said the agency is releasing the statistics — including a larger analysis of its diversity, inclusion and equal employment opportunity efforts — to generate greater dialogue internally.

"What we have learned in the past two weeks is that we must focus more carefully on how we address diversity and inclusion not only in hiring and contracting, but in our day-to-day treatment of one another — in matters of culture and broader career development, including retention, evaluation and promotion," Cordray said. "We have set high standards for ourselves and our work. But whether we are successful in meeting these standards, and in developing the culture we want to have, will depend crucially on our ability to foster both an open dialogue about these tough issues and an agency-wide commitment to work together on improvement."

The letter follows a statement the agency sent on March 10 that said it was moving away from its employee evaluation process after data showed that white employees were statistically rated higher than minorities, based on internal documents.

Cordray said they have asked the CFPB's chief operating officer, Sartaj Alag, to form a team that will create an action plan regarding equality and fairness within the agency and with the National Treasury Employees Union. This also includes engaging an external advisor, which Cordray has already told employees they were working on in recent weeks.

"Because each of you brings your own special background and experience to this organization, you make us better when you speak up and work to bridge our many different perspectives, so that we can end up with results that none of us could accomplish as well on our own," Cordray said in the letter. "That is true in achieving our mission and it is likewise true in improving this agency."

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