Financial Alliance for Racial Equity Launches HBCU Mentorship Program Pilot
Mentorship plays a critical role in both attracting and developing talent, especially in underrepresented groups, according to data from Nationwide’s R.I.S.E. Research1. The study found that, mentors are widely believed to be an essential ingredient for professional development, with 85% of Black advisors agreeing that their mentor was important to their success. This highlights a huge opportunity for financial services firms to invest in Black professionals using thoughtful mentorship programs that offer support in multiple facets.
The Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE) is excited to put this insight into action with the introduction of its inaugural HBCU Mentorship Program to support Black students and young professionals with career growth and professional development opportunities.
In the spring of 2022 several subject matter experts from FARE member firms, including Franklin Templeton, M Financial, NFP, Nationwide, DCIIA, American Retirement Association, Advisor Group and The American College of Financial Services in HR, talent acquisition and DE&I brainstormed what a best-in-class mentorship program could look like based on their own learnings and firm experiences.
“The FARE mentorship program takes a holistic approach to nurturing young professionals and providing a framework to ensure a positive experience for both the mentors and mentees throughout the experience,” said Timi Jorgenson, Director to Assistant Vice President of Financial Education & Well-Being at The American College of Financial Services, who helped shape the program. “By incorporating the Know Yourself, Grow Your Wealth℠ certificate program for mentors and mentees, the conversation around career goals and personal financial health can happen simultaneously. Personal, family, and community goals and aspirations can be matched with career and professional development goals to provide the mentees with a clear view of their future.”
How it works
Through structured 1-to-3 mentorship circles and focused, industry-relevant content, FARE’s HBCU mentorship program will serve as an industry best practice and practical guide to elevate awareness in the Financial Services industry and will eventually be available to any firm or individual, to utilize for no fee.
The FARE Mentorship Program will leverage content from The American College of Financial Services, Know Yourself, Grow Your WealthSM, a state-of-the-art education and empowerment experience for those who want to improve their understanding of money and personal finance.
Each circle includes three mentees – Black students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and one mentor – a FARE member firm mid-senior level leader, with matching based on career goals and interests. FARE leaders anticipate 30 black students will complete the program in 2023, providing insights and data to grow and scale this model for others in the industry looking to incorporate mentorship into their own employee retention and DEIB strategies.
Program participants will have the opportunity to complete a capstone course directly following the mentorship experience. The FP99 curriculum, Foundations of Financial Planning (presented by The American College of Financial Services), provides an overview of key industry concepts such as the financial planning process, industry trends, retirement planning, Medicare and Social Security.
“As an HBCU graduate, I know firsthand how mentorship can aid in accelerating your career,” said Aiyisha Adams, Vice President of Advisor Engagement for Advisor Group, who will participate as a mentor in the program. “Proper mentorship can have a significant impact on the psychology and confidence level of minorities. Just knowing that I have a hand in shaping a young person’s career and can help them navigate the corporate world is a thrill for me. It is my hope that I will help my mentees see that servant leadership benefits them, their teams, and the organizations they serve.”
The Financial Alliance for Racial Equity includes Advisor Group, Capital Group, Cetera, Franklin Templeton, Huntington Bank, M Financial Group, Nationwide, NFP, RBC Wealth Management, Swiss Re, American Retirement Association, CFP Board, DCIIA, The American College of Financial Services, IRI (Insured Retirement Institute), Hampton University, Howard University, Lincoln University of Missouri, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Winston Salem State University.
1 Research for Action (2019) “Nationwide Potential Advisors: HBCU Student Perceptions of the Field of Financial Planning and Factors that Influence Student Career Choice
All third parties mentioned are not related to or affiliated with Nationwide or any of its affiliates.