According to the report “The Real Effects of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace,” several unconscious biases present in the workplace are: affinity bias, halo effect, perception bias, confirmation bias, and group think.
The average adviser is a 50-plus white male, but there are concrete steps advisers and their firms can take to increase diversity, according to Jocelyn Wright, chair of the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at The American College.
If you don't have a lot of money to spare and want to get on the right track, focus on covering all of your bases instead of investing in the next hot startup or buying property. Clear your immediate financial hurdles out of the way before aspirational investments (those can come much later), through earning more and managing what you do have better, and you'll be a lot better off.
Jocelyn Wright pointed out that women cannot create a more equitable industry on their own. As more woman advisors seek to create similar initiatives within their firms, they will have to seek and encourage assistance from male allies.
The financial services industry is lacking diversity, in all sorts of ways. About 30% of personal financial advisers were women in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the numbers are even lower for minorities: only 6% of all advisers were black, 7.7% were Asian and 7.1% were Hispanic.
While Americans in general are severely underfunded for retirement, black Americans in particular lag even further behind. In fact, almost 75 percent of African-Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, compared to just 48.6 percent of white Americans.
There has been a long-time call for more African-American professionals in a variety of fields, ranging from medicine to education. Black Enterprise has a recent article calling attention to an area with a dearth of Black professionals that rarely gets much attention: financial services, planners in particular.
There is a growing wealth gap in our country, as well as a looming retirement crisis, particularly in the black community. There is a correlation between having more advisers in the profession and more empowerment around our finances.
A lack of diversity in financial services persists even as U.S. demographics become increasingly heterogeneous. The American College of Financial Services' Jocelyn Wright sat down with Asset TV to explain why it's so important for the financial services profession to attract and retain diverse individuals, and how the industry is working to attain these goals.