Progress in Diversity and Inclusion in the Financial Services Industry


Recorded at the BNY Mellon | Pershing INSITE 2022.  Media Center Powered by:

Advisorpedia interviewed Tonia Bottoms, Managing Director and Senior Managing Counsel at BNY Mellon | Pershing, at BNY Mellon | Pershing INSITE in June, 2022.

Related: How Advisors Can Thrive as the Industry Evolves

Resources: Integrated Partners | Flyer Financial Technologies



Shannon Rosic, Tonia Bottoms

Shannon Rosic  00:05

How is Pershing progressing diversity equity inclusion initiatives? I'm joined today by Tanya bottoms to learn more. Tanya, welcome.

Tonia Bottoms  00:13

Thank you glad to be here.

Shannon Rosic  00:14

Absolutely. . .

So to dive right in, What trends are you seeing right now that are ultimately driving diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in this industry?

Tonia Bottoms  00:25

So one of the things I would say is, I think that there is definitely more focused and intentional actions being taken. I think that many people thought, with the summer of 2020, and all of the social unrest, that these efforts would just be a flash in the pan. And that's not really happening. It's it's definitely has longevity. And I believe that this time is going to be a little different. Firms are absolutely focusing on talent. So looking inwardly, first, they're looking at the talent that they've already acquired, they're looking at how they can grow talent, as well as you know, retain it, and to help associates feel valued. And think about ways that they can create career paths and opportunities, you know, within their enterprises. Then, looking externally, I think many firms are checking in on pipeline, they're looking at where is talent coming from? You know, the financial services industry is so broad. And I think many times people assume it's just one role. But my background is I'm a lawyer. When I was in law school, I never would have imagined the job that I have in a bank, as an attorney. So definitely the industry is focusing on the pipeline, how can we attract younger talent, job changers, students, to this industry?

Shannon Rosic  02:07

Absolutely. And it's, been very encouraging to see companies really embrace these initiatives. But what are some of the tangible benefits of having a diverse workforce?

Tonia Bottoms  02:17

That's a great question. And I think first and foremost, is having representation that reflects the communities we serve, right. You want to be able to have people that you're working with see within your firm, that there are diverse representation among your associates. That you do have women who are senior leaders that you have Black, Latinx, Hispanic LBGTQ representation, because you want to embrace all of the communities that we serve. I think being able to actually see leaders who fit those roles, really changes the experience and the perspective for people, who want to have access to financial services. It can be very intimidating. And so the scope of opportunity, here in financial services should be reflective of all of the communities who can benefit from our work.

Shannon Rosic  03:27

And what is Pershing doing specifically to drive these initiatives?

Tonia Bottoms  03:31

So in addition to what we're doing in our line of business, it's also you know, coordinated throughout our enterprise as a global initiative. So focusing on some of the domestic initiatives that we have, we absolutely, as I mentioned, are focusing on talent. So really looking at how can we make our associates feel valued. We spent some very specific and intentional time listening to employees to understand what their needs were, you know, what they wanted to do from a career perspective. And so we're taking those themes, and we're using them to inform our thinking. One of the things that we did, from an enterprise perspective is our executive leadership team reevaluated our mission, our mission and our vision, and rearticulated our firm's values. And they thought it was important enough to include a value around strength and diversity. So, all of our lines of business are really leveraging that value. It's part of how we're evaluated within the firm. But it also really allows us to empower our associates, right, to actually bring action to be aligned with what we're saying our intentions are the firm some other things that we've done on the Pershing line of business, also focus on how we're engaging with our clients differently. You know, we're looking for opportunity to engage with clients around talent initiatives, right? Are there opportunities for us to work together to draw in that pipeline we were just talking about, as well as how can we look at supporting our clients differently? We have that connectivity, from a broader perspective that maybe some of our smaller clients do not. So being able to leverage relationships. And then I think the one other thing I would add, you know, from an industry perspective, really trying to be a leading voice. We're very involved with industry groups, and we are really trying to help adjust the experience and change the narrative. We had the opportunity through some of our industry associations to sponsor a program for financial services, pro bono financial services, and that was launched a year ago is called Communities of Color.

Shannon Rosic  06:19

Wow, that's really fantastic to hear that. This is it's such an important aspect of Pershing's business line and their efforts for the future. So, Tanya, thank you so much for your insights today.

Tonia Bottoms  06:30

Thank you.

Shannon Rosic  06:32

For Advisorpedia, I'm Shannon Rosic.