How To Make Advisory Firms More Diverse

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

Our firm throws around the word “diversity.” As one of the longer tenured women, I get sick of hearing it when every time I am invited to a meeting, I look around the table and I am the token person representing diversity. We talk about it in hiring, working with our high-net worth clients, when considering succession planning and career pathing. But all we do is talk about it. What steps are firms taking to actually bring about diversity? I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years and I don’t see much changing despite all of the talk.


Dear T.I.,

I agree – diversity is most definitely a hot topic.

In working with a number of firms small and large, one of the problems in bringing about diversity is that there just aren’t enough candidates who represent the diversity firms want. Many years ago I was interviewed by a major industry publication on why senior women tend to get to a certain level and then leave the industry – either to start their own firms, as I did, or move on to something else. I shared a number of insights. But before the article ran, the publication killed it because they thought it was too controversial!