A recent Investment News article highlighted Baird and its commitment to diversity and inclusion. While some companies may look at inclusion policies as a checkbox and put forth minimum effort to achieve it, Baird truly believes it is the future. The big push behind Baird’s outlook can be viewed from two reports, the Bank of Montreal and the US Census.
“According to a report from the Bank of Montreal’s Wealth Institute, in 2015 women achieved control of 51% of the personal wealth in America. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that populations of all racial and ethnic minorities in the United States grew faster than the non-Hispanic white population from 2015-2016.”
This shift in wealth is leading the financial firm to invest in the next generation of investors, both monetarily and socially. How the firm addresses this is through a few key points which I have listed below:
- Passion: While difficult, hiring people with the same level of passion is key. Passion leads to engagement with both clients an co-workers and creates a level of trust and understanding that everyone can benefit from
- Resource Groups: A common point for most firms, Baird’s resource groups offers co-workers an opportunity to connect with different people in multiple areas. “Comprised of ethnically diverse associates, LGBT+ associates and others with a shared stake in making Baird more inclusive, each group helps shape our policies and practices.”
- Internships: In 2018, of the 177 interns Baird employed, “53% were women or minorities. Of the graduating college seniors, 45% converted to full time hires, of which 33% were women or minorities.”
- Mentorship: Baird recently ” launched new mentoring programs: one for women, in which senior leaders work with emerging young female talent, and one for millennials, who can learn from and reverse-mentor more senior associates.” These key target groups are vital for the future of the company and one that makes sense for the organization to support
While I did not want to come off as a promotional ad for Baird, I do commend the company on its focus towards a younger demographic. Catching a person as they transition from working to building wealth is really helpful and something that is a good strategy for the company. In less than 10 years, millennials will be the bulk of the potential customers within the financial services firm and gearing up for that time is necessary to grow.