Measures of Diversity and Inclusion

Mercer’s Presentation on the latest Findings

(Download the presentation and research here)

This year, the member firms of the FSP participated in an Internal Labor Markets (ILM) analysis by the Initiative’s research partners, Mercer who presented on the latest findings. The previous ILM analysis, released in 2014, indicated that rates of promotion to management for African Americans and Latinos were relatively high; their attrition levels once they arrive in middle management are also high, showing a retention problem for both groups.

The new findings in the 2017 ILM analysis show major changes when comparing the analysis from 2014 to 2017:

  • Lower Rates of Promotion: Over the last three years there are now consistently lower promotion rates for African-American and Latino talent.
  • Finding talent is a Strength: African-American and Latino talent is hired at greater rates, and continues to be a strength.
  • Directional Change of Attrition Rate: Since 2014, the gap in attrition rates has narrowed, but rates remain higher for African-American and Latino talent.

In addition to the ILM, this year several member firms added on to the participation of conducting an internal employee experience survey resulting in over 11,500 Chicago-area financial services employee total respondents. The overall employee experience highlights:

Differences in Career Advancement Experiences across Groups

  • The favorability of career perceptions rises consistently with each higher career level for white males, but not so for other groups
  • Both African American men and women experience a notable drop in perceptions of fairness around opportunities, as they reach the highest ranks
  • Latina respondents show a consistent drop in career-related satisfaction at senior level management and above

Factors Most Influencing Satisfaction with Promotions for Professionals & Above

  • Common drivers of satisfaction with promotion opportunities across race/ethnicity include opportunities to develop and utilize skills, and fairness in opportunities and rewards
  • Satisfaction with leadership is a unique driver of promotions satisfaction for African Americans
  • Ratings of fairness in opportunities and distribution of rewards are notably lower for African American and Latino respondents
  • Having a professional champion or sponsor within the company is related to satisfaction with promotion opportunities for white professionals and above

Factors Most Influencing Professionals & above to stay in, or Leave the Financial Services Industry

  • Satisfaction with the opportunity to reach long-term career goals, and leadership are drivers of intent to stay in, or leave the industry for all three race/ethnicity groups (African American, Latino and White).
  • Work stress and perceptions of the ethics and integrity of co-workers also emerge as significant drivers for Latino and African American Professionals and above this year
  • Satisfaction with promotion opportunities was a unique driver for Latinos
  • Fairness in distribution of rewards was a unique driver for African Americans
  • As in the 2015 analysis of the full population, whites have the unique drivers of relationships with co-workers (rated notably higher than African American responses), and prestige and status of the industry (rated lower than Latino responses)
  • Four of the five drivers of intent to stay or leave for African American Professionals and above are rated notably lower (at least 5 percentage points lower) than whites.

Alina Polonskaia, Bess Tschantz-Hahn and Rick Guzzo at Mercer conducted the research and explained key findings and their recommended action items for the industry as a whole and for individual employers for improving the recruitment and retention of African-American and Latino talent in Chicago.

Financial services industry must increase promotion rates for African Americans and Latinos, while continuing with retention efforts, to increase representation at higher levels.

Retention remains the single most powerful leverage point for increasing representation of African-Americans and Latinos at the highest career levels, with simultaneous changes in attrition, promotion and hiring dynamics yielding the largest increases in representation. 

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Published: October 2017