Starting a Diversity Journey: The Wealthspire Story
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While our firm, Wealthspire Advisors, intentionally prioritizes a strong corporate culture to foster sustainable long-term business outcomes, our efforts in the realm of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) have been limited and primarily focused on the recruitment and advancement of women without regard to race or ethnicity.
As we have continued to grow both organically and inorganically, an all-company Zoom call showed a sea of white faces; our lack of racial and ethnic diversity became increasingly evident. Our leadership team and local offices recognized the issue and started to think about how to use our deepening resources to better understand the gap and find solutions to address it.
Then, when the world gasped in collective horror at the murder of George Floyd, many of us were awakened to long-standing and deep racial injustices. The need to improve DEIB became far more real and urgent at every level at Wealthspire. Many employees expressed their concern about the problem and a passion for being part of the solution.
As a result, a more intentional and sustainable vision for change at Wealthspire took form.
The importance of belonging
A sense of belonging is critical. Last year, our CEO, Mike LaMena, found and shared a valuable online training course led by Pat Wadors, a human resources professional and LinkedIn instructor. This course focused on the critical and fundamental role of the need for a sense of belonging – a hard-wired human need that is woven into all everyday experiences. We came to understand that without a feeling of belonging, employees show up with their hands and feet, but without their hearts and minds. While productivity is driven by engagement, engagement is driven by a sense of being truly appreciated in a community as your unique and total self. An organization is great because of its people, and that greatness is only fully harnessed if people feel that they belong. And in a world where you can pursue your work from anywhere, where employees show up only virtually due to pandemic restrictions, a sense of true belonging is even more important.