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'Diversity is good for business': Schwab's Leslie Tabor

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When companies start to focus more on diversity, equity and inclusion, they’re not just taking a step in the right direction. But what if he’s actively working on DEI as a clearly powerful business initiative?

In fact, “companies can consider building a DEI as a business capability that will ultimately support their growth,” says Leslie Tabor, director of business consulting services and education at Charles Schwab Advisor Services. claimed in an interview with

“Future customers will be even more diverse. The next generation will identify with one or more diverse races and ethnicities. Diversity is good for business,” he said. 2021 ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES Awards Diversity and Inclusion.

She prioritizes intentional concepts that build a more diverse force of advisors and help them reach their potential.

The expected expansion of the pool of diverse advisors “will only help if we are deliberately committing to the behavior of fostering a more diverse industry and attracting its talent to our profession,” advises advisers on career advancement. Give equal access to development opportunities.

She started working as an administrative assistant at Schwab Advisor Services (serving company-managed RIAs) and has worked steadily up the corporate ladder for 23 years.

She joined the company right after graduating from the University of Phoenix with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

In his current role since 2015, Tabor leads the strategic direction and execution of numerous diversity and inclusion programs, partnering with industry influencers to advance DEI within and outside the industry.

A first-generation Filipino-American, she said, “Incessantly [my] Hands, looking for opportunities given [me] a chance to share [my] Voices and ideas with the right people in the room.

ThinkAdvisor recently interviewed Tabor over the phone from where she is based in San Francisco.

She said 94 advisors embarked on a “five-month learning journey” as a result of the Schwab consulting program for clients launched last year that provides “a multi-year DEI roadmap and a 12-month action plan.” said. She is well positioned to build and influence her inclusive DEI culture for her company. ”

Here are highlights from the conversation:

THINKADVISOR: Is the main goal of having a diverse financial advisor to attract diverse clients?

I’m not sure if that’s the main purpose. It can be a goal for companies.

Companies can view building a DEI as a business capability that will ultimately support their company’s growth.

The US population is changing. Future customers will be more diverse. Diversity is good for business.

When companies can focus on having a diverse workforce representing different backgrounds and perspectives, they are better able to innovate, solve problems, and make the most of available business opportunities.

Research shows that companies that rank in the top quartile for both gender and ethnic diversity are more likely to outperform their peers.

Can you elaborate on how the next generation is more diverse than the previous two?

The next generation identifies with one or more diverse races and ethnicities.

1 study [by the Pew Research Center] 43% of millennials are [non-white]and it will only increase in the next generation.

How does it help the financial services industry?

It increases the pool of potential talent, but it is only useful if we deliberately engage in the act of fostering a more diverse industry and attracting that talent to our profession.

It certainly helps with DEI issues, but still needs work.

What Are Some Findings Addressing DEI in RIA’s Benchmark Study with Custody in Schwab in 2022?

We found that women make up about 31% of advisory roles. People of color make up about 11% of our staff.

So there is no doubt that there will continue to be opportunities to attract more diverse talent to the profession.

Are misconceptions about the financial advisor job preventing more diversity in the industry?

I think so. Some of the biggest misconceptions we recognize are that after graduation you are independent as an individual reality [with Schwab Advisor Services], have the opportunity to partner with the company’s senior advisors. you are not alone

Another misconception is that you start from scratch and that success is shaped by your ability to find new clients (such as solicitation calls). However, this is not always the case.

We paint a picture of reality.

I’ve heard from several advisors of people of color that after they were hired, companies generally did nothing specifically to make them feel welcome and comfortable. There may even have been microaggressions directed at. Your thoughts?

I have heard the same story.

Let’s talk about career development and ensuring people have equitable access to these development opportunities.

Start by helping employees understand what they want out of their careers, then with intent, tailor opportunities with that insight in mind.

Mentors and sponsors can be very helpful in understanding what employees want and trying to deliver in a way that matches.

What opportunities are diverse advisors typically available?

[In a firm], there are high-profile projects, and then there are “housekeeping” projects. Getting your team on the road, preparing for meetings, taking notes in meetings, managing budgets, and more.

They are usually assigned to women or employees of color.

How can we make it fairer?

You need to match the insights you get from understanding what your employees want with the projects they actually get.

High-profile projects in front of senior leaders [would] give [diverse] Individuals can have the opportunity to influence in very meaningful and valuable ways.

What is the impact of inclusive leadership?

This is a big topic. The primary impact is to increase a sense of belonging to the community through leadership behavior.