get out there and want more.
I believe the highest level of competitivenesswill be a firm that can appropriately serve thediversity of the clients they choose to serve.Our advisors want to spearhead and be apart of our efforts to act on these issues —like through our women’s community andefforts focused on racial and ethnicityidentity, sexual and gender identity, andso forth. The list goes on and on.
You’ve got to start somewhere, and
you’ve got to start talking about it. As
the country erupted recently with all
of the tensions that we’ve seen, part of
me almost said, “Wow, maybe now is not
the time to try to pull this off.”
But it was the best time to pull it off,
because everybody is raising their hand
to get engaged in these efforts. It’s about
listening, understanding and tolerance, and
that’s been really exciting to watch. If more of
the industry continues to ride that momentum,
maybe we can make a change.
Dolber: We never did any of this to get publicity,but the fellowship project we did in Ferguson was on FoxNews and all over the place. That got so much attention. It’sinteresting. We’re looking to hire a global compliance officer. Isaid to a chief legal counsel, “We need a person that’s experienced and a person with technical and legal skill. And I knowshe is out there.”
Diachok: Our industry is focused on this, especially genderdiversity — getting more women into it. That’s been a verypositive way for our industry to go, though we still have a longway to go. Close to 20% of our advisors are women, whichdoesn’t sound like a huge number. But it didn’t look like this
20 years ago, when it was probably half that.
Also, I see a lot of the younger generation, through familiesin the industry and otherwise, coming up — with advisorsbringing kids on board. You’re seeing a lot more daughtersthan sons coming up, too. They’re becoming involved andultimately taking over these businesses, which is great to see.
We’re looking to fill a position, and we want the best person.We have more diversity at a home office level than at the advisor level. We’re almost at 60% female employees and over 10%people of color.
We’ve tried to do our best. As the whole country is expe-
riencing and the rest of you are saying, there’s so much
more than we can all be doing. Being more open minded
and asking what we can do as an industry are important
first steps to making real change.
Burmeister: It’s got a long, long runway. There’s no silverbullet. Thank goodness there’s so much focus on this now.
It needs to change at the collegiate level. We need financialservices and the colleges to put a spotlight on it and attract
We’ve been focused on bringing
younger people into the financial
services industry. Now that push
has really expanded to include
more people and embracing
firms that may specialize in
the LGBTQ community or cater
to the community with East