Mentorship Is Key to Success for Attracting Diverse Associates

An Edward Jones study finds that most in the advisory community believe seeking out a mentor is the most important focus for diverse associates early in their career.

By DJ Shaw

The most effective way financial services firms can attract more diverse associates is by creating a place of belonging, according to 35% of financial advisers, branch team support members and home office associates surveyed by Edward Jones.

Eighteen percent of the 195 people surveyed said offering greater networking or development opportunities was the most important effort. The survey was taken among those attending the second annual Edward Jones Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference.

According to the 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey, 74% said seeking out a mentor is the most important thing for diverse associates to focus on early in their careers.

“In order for DEI initiatives to be successful they must be embedded throughout the entire enterprise,” said Edward Jones’ DEI head, Jennifer Kingston. “First and foremost, diverse associates need to feel like they belong. Individuals, regardless of their background, demographics or circumstance, must be respected, valued and met with the necessary resources to reach their individual potential.”

With changing demographics in the U.S., 34% of conference qualifiers said that offering different models or ways to serve their clients is the top way Edward Jones can ensure it attracts and serves more diverse clients or under-represented groups.

Branch-facing qualifiers (financial advisers and branch team support members) noted that word of mouth or referrals from existing clients (92%) and educational events or webinars (46%) remain primary strategies to attract clients and grow their own practices.