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Nationwide Financial and Historically Black Colleges and Universities Partner to Close Financial Career Inclusion Gap

Nationwide Financial and Historically Black Colleges and Universities Partner to Close Financial Career Inclusion Gap
Posted By: Lailah Berry on February 15, 2021

Nationwide has been able to identify that Black students, advisors and financial professionals face barriers that discourage some from pursuing financial services careers. Nationwide’s Financial Alliance for Retirement Equity aims to address challenges and create actionable solutions that contribute to lasting change in the industry

Nearly 90% of Black college students considering a financial services career report they believe there are challenges that specifically affect Black advisors and financial professionals in the industry today, according to new research conducted by the Nationwide Retirement Institute®. This sentiment is echoed by current Black advisors and financial professionals, with 87% agreeing Black professionals will face distinct challenges. Together, these and other findings from the RISE Research (which stands for Recruit, Invest, Sustain, Evolve), help paint a picture of the barriers to entry and growth facing Black advisors and financial professionals today.

The Nationwide Retirement Institute ® initiated the RISE Research to identify insights that lead to solutions to increase the number of Black advisors and financial professionals and improve their opportunities for success. Nationwide has partnered with leading financial services organizations, associations and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to form the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity. Founding members of the Alliance include Morgan Stanley, M Financial Group, NFP, Employee Benefit Research Institute and Nationwide Financial, in partnership with HBCUs, including Hampton University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Winston-Salem State University.

An additional HBCU and more firms are expected to join the alliance in the future. “It’s imperative we continue to make progress toward racial justice and inclusion in this country and within our own firms,” said John Carter, president of Nationwide Financial. “Nationwide has a long history of supporting diversity, inclusion and HBCUs, and we are dedicated to driving change in the financial services industry, which has been slow to evolve. We know Black college students and financial professionals need to see real change. This Alliance is the next step in our work to deliver that change and increase equity and representation in our industry.”

“Our communities are wrestling with racial inequities, while consumers, business partners and our clients are looking to companies that not only say they are committed to diversity and inclusion but demonstrate action. As a product of an HBCU, I’m eager to work with our Alliance partners to create a network of opportunity which is essential to addressing the challenges Black college students and financial professionals face today. It will take time as we learn together, but I am excited for what we can accomplish as a group,” said Kristi Martin Rodriguez, leader of the Nationwide Retirement Institute®. Following Nationwide’s $1 million multi-year commitment to support programs that foster social justice, members of the Alliance will listen and learn from each other to identify needs and advance open dialogue while also taking the lead within their own organizations to foster inclusion.

Nationwide is obviously on our side, create a policy today: https://hbcuconnect.com/campaigns/2270/new...

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