In the wake of George Floyd’s death, and in the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement, the BLatinX Internship Program was born. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for 100 aspiring Black and Latinx financial planners to obtain a paid internship at a fee-only financial planning firm.
The financial planning industry is woefully underrepresented from a diversity standpoint. According to the CFP Board and the U.S. Census Bureau, only 3.8% of CFP pros are Black or Latinx, while those populations make up 31.9% of the population of the United States. It is projected that by 2045, the U.S. will be a minority-majority country. This is the future of the profession that we want to build toward.
While there has been a lot of talk about improving diversity in the financial planning profession, there hasn’t been enough action to move things forward. Emlen Miles-Mattingly, Chloe Moore, Shawn Tydlaska and I have partnered with National Association of Personal Financial Advisors to launch an internship program specifically focused on aspiring financial planners who identify as either Black or Latinx.
Our goal is to place at least 100 interns with meaningful opportunities in the summer of 2021 and each summer in the years to come. We love this idea because it is actionable, it will provide exposure to real financial planning, and it positions our industry as a welcoming place where these interns can thrive.
EDUCATION ISN’T ENOUGH
We believe that education isn’t enough and that there are more systemic issues at play. Our goal in launching the BLatinX Internship Program is to provide an entry point into the financial planning profession to Black and Latinx students and career changers.
As of now, we are on track to provide 66 internship positions at 46 fee-only RIAs. We are very excited about the support from firms, industry colleagues and individual financial planners. We are grateful for the support received thus far and are confident that this program will be a great resource for years to come.
This program will also benefit firms and the profession as a whole, as studies have shown that it is more profitable to have a diverse team. A 2015 study by McKinsey & Co. found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
We want this program to be a success and will provide both interns and participating firms with resources in order to make for a great experience.
The BLX Internship Program is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization, and our goal is to be able to accept donations in the future which would be used to provide for scholarships to interns for things like the CFP certification exams, reviews and curriculum, as well as registration to industry conferences that would be helpful to the interns. To learn more about the program, please visit blxinternship.org or email us at [email protected] #thewayforward #blxinternship #diversityinaction
Luis Rosa is co-founder of the BLatinX Internship Program.
As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.