Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Spelhouse Homecoming, an annual event that brings together students, families and alumni from Spelman and Morehouse Colleges. I was there to celebrate with my daughter, who is a senior at Spelman College.

For me, the event felt like a warm hug at a family reunion. I couldn’t help but reflect on my happy time as an undergraduate student at Hampton University, another of our nation’s premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

As someone who has traveled the road these students are just beginning, I know what it feels like to look into the future with hope and maybe a little bit of trepidation. I’m excited to say that I believe these students have an even brighter future ahead of them than I did. While my climb to a senior leadership role in the financial services industry felt like I was going uphill at times, there are more doors open for these students today, and more HBCU students excited about the prospect of a career in wealth management.

My perspective on the opportunity to attract more diverse talent to the financial services industry has grown more robust through my involvement in establishing the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE). FARE is a coalition of top financial services firms, industry organizations and HBCUs working to bring more Black students and professionals into the financial services industry.  

I’m happy to say that more financial services firms are waking up to the fact that HBCUs are a tremendous source for top talent. These students have unique skill sets and perspectives that can not only help our industry grow, but also do a better job of serving communities of color.

I was excited to see several students from Spelman and Morehouse who I met at recent FARE events.  This made me feel tremendous pride, but also renewed my sense of responsibility to pay it forward by finding opportunities for them to join the financial services community and change the world for the better.

Unfortunately, many financial services firms don’t have a deep history recruiting diverse talent. I’m glad to say that’s changing as leaders in our industry are discovering that these students, many of whom turn down the Ivy League to pursue an HBCU education, have so much to offer.

However, the optimal approach to recruiting these students may take a different shape than many firms are accustomed to. The top students from these schools are in high demand. If you think you’re just going to show up with a booth at a career fair passing out pamphlets, you’re likely to swing and miss.

At a recent event hosted by FARE, we asked a distinguished panel of leaders from several top HBCUs to share best practices for engaging their universities and students. They shared some tremendous pearls of wisdom as well as practical, actionable advice to help financial services firms tailor their approach to recruiting top HBCU talent.

First « 1 2 » Next