Kudos to the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) Initiative supported by Chicago-based financial institutions. The goal is to address the lack of diversity in Chicago’s financial services industry, particularly Latinos and African Americans. The initiative includes 16 members representing more than 30,000 professionals in Chicago’s financial service industry. FSP released findings from a report which will be utilized to develop an action plan to address the lack of diversity in its industry. While focused on one city and industry, the report’s findings can provide insights about the experiences of Latinos in other industries and regions.
In regards to career outlook, the report suggests that “Latinos indicate that they are dedicated to their careers, and are more likely than their white counterparts to indicate that career is their first priority.” However, many Latinos feel that the pace of their progression has been too slow. The report cites a “choke point” where career progression is halted, particularly into senior positions.
Hence, many Latino Executives and Senior and Managers “recognize that relationships with senior members of the industry are important for their career growth. They are more likely than whites to cite sponsorship programs as being helpful to their career and are just as likely as their white counterparts to have a mentor or sponsor within the company”
One comment from an interviewee in the study noted:
There is only one thing — hire more people of different races and ethnicities. Too much hiring in the financial services industry is based on internal networks, so excludes people that aren’t traditionally part of those financial industry networks.
This is a telling comment that is common among most industries. The “who you know not what you know” barrier. These are only a few highlights that caught my eye – there are a number of good takeaways in the details.