When a majority of your week is spent working, you want to feel supported and included in your workplace.
According to Certified Financial Planners (CFP), the ranks of CFP® professionals grew significantly among women, Blacks, and Hispanics in 2021, hitting all-time highs for each demographic.
While CFP indicates that diversity among financial planners seems to be improving year-over-year, I think you will agree with us that there is still a way to go.
Here at Consolidated Planning, our goal has always been to provide a world-class financial planning experience for our clients. Along with that comes the desire to truly understand where our clients are coming from, where they currently stand with their finances, and what they want their financial future to look like.
At the heart of this comes a desire for comfortability and representation. At the end of this article, you will be able to determine if being a part of a culture that works to prioritize inclusion for both financial advisors and their clients is the right firm for you.
What Is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
Principles that promote respect, recognition, and representation for all people are the simplest terms for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
However, this topic requires more than simple terms. According to DEI Extension,
Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective. Populations that have been-and remain- underrepresented among practitioners in the field and marginalized in the broader society.
Equity is promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcome. Inclusion outcomes are met when you, your institution, and your program are truly inviting to all. To the degree to which diverse individuals can participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within an organization or group.
What Does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Look Like at Consolidated Planning?
Financial advising as a whole is an incredibly dynamic industry. With ever-evolving market conditions, financial products, compliance and regulations, and client expectations – our people need to be dynamic too.
Being stewards of DEI helps us create a more dynamic and productive work environment for all of our employees. By working towards a dynamic culture, we can celebrate the differences in perspectives and experiences, and together we can embrace change, activity, and progression.
Fully understanding and carrying out DEI requires full-time resources and dedicated positions. While we aren’t there yet as a firm, we are committed to getting there.
With a focus on women, people of color, and LGBTIQA+ representation within the firm, we are taking steps forward to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion to the forefront of Consolidated Planning. Bringing this focus to the forefront within the firm is to better educate ourselves on how we can make every individual considering a career with us to feel truly represented.
Where We Are With DEI
You will find that as an advisor at Consolidated Planning, we are in the awareness and education stage of DEI. We have acknowledged the need within the firm, and industry as a whole, and are dedicated to providing resources and education to all advisors, leaders and staff.
It all starts with open and honest conversations throughout the firm.
- A company-wide survey was issued to better understand where we stood with diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Honest feedback from employees and advisors led us to create our task force
Established Task Force
Meeting each month via Zoom, this task force is open to everyone at CP. Here we discuss ideas, identify what we should be focusing on, and how it should be prioritized, and assign tasks to ensure action follows.
- Mission Statement: We understand that increasing diversity among our employees and firms isn’t just the right thing to do, it is paramount to affecting positive change in our society. Those broader and more diverse minds and perspectives make a business, and the world, better. Inclusion and diversity, though, are about more than having a diverse workforce; it is about ensuring that all those who choose to join the Consolidated Planning family, feel supported, respected, comfortable, and confident that they can show up authentically at work. Our mission is to see that through.
Alignment with Guardian Resources
Through our affiliation with Guardian, their vast resources and learning modules are implemented.
- Field diversity resources: Every advisor and employee at Consolidated Planning has access to the learning materials, trainings, and tools.
- Pilot program: Internal participation in Guardian’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) program with 10 hours of coursework to further invest in our culture.
Where We Are Going With DEI
We are the first to acknowledge that our firm has a long way to go in our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Education and community involvement across the firm is the next natural step in DEI being interwoven in all aspects of who we are. These areas include:
1. Educational Opportunities
- Hosting Speakers and Panels for advisors and employees
- Book club
2. Community Engagement
- Representation at local events
- Continued attendance at the Conference of African American Financial Professionals (CAAFP) and the Women’s Empowerment Summit
- Finance Education in local schools and libraries
3. Dedicated Personnel
- A dedicated person whose sole focus will be educating and implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the firm
Is The Culture At Consolidated Planning The Best Fit For Me?
Working with people who make you feel like you can be your authentic self is a necessary attribute in finding the right firm for you.
While we are just scratching the surface with our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Consolidated Planning, we have built a culture of genuine and welcoming advisors and staff.
As an advisor at Consolidated Planning, you will build a mission-based practice that means prioritizing people before products. We strive to ensure that each and every client and advisor feels comfortable to ask questions and truly understand all aspects of their financial portfolio and their financial wellness.
If you want a culture of support and acceptance while helping us break down barriers, reach out to a recruiter to learn more about what it looks like being a financial advisor at Consolidated Planning.
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