Assigning a chief diversity officer doesn’t fix an inclusion issue

Gurinder S. Ahluwalia

We hear a lot about diversity, equality and inclusion, and with good reason. Our society has come a long way, but more needs to be done for the American workforce to truly reflect the multicultural makeup of America.

Despite the nationwide push for enhancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the financial advice industry is one of the least diverse fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 5% of the 537,000 Americans employed as personal financial advisers last year were African-American, with Asians and Latinos accounting for 6.9% and 6.6% of our country’s advisers, respectively.

At first thought, an obvious solution to the lack of diversity in a financial advisory practice might appear to be to hire a chief diversity officer (CDO). Many companies in different industries brought CDOs into their businesses after the creation of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) in the Dodd-Frank Act. The OMWI was established to monitor and assess the diversity practices and policies at entities regulated by eight federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission. (read more)

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