Diversity initiatives benefit all employees by fostering an appreciation and understanding of diverse backgrounds, which results in celebrated cultures, happier workers and greater productivity. Recently, the Financial Services Pipeline Initiative (FSP) united with member firms and partner organizations to host a Bowl-A-Thon event with a purpose to provide additional professional development, networking and community-focused opportunities for African-American and Latino financial industry professionals. Involvement also included representation from member firm employee resource groups. The event was coordinated by the FSP’s Retention and Development workgroup, one of three workgroups working to increase diverse representation at all levels in the financial services industry.
The event took place on June 22nd at 10pin in downtown Chicago. Discover Financial Services covered the cost for most FSP bowlers while FSP covered the costs of students attending from non-profit partner organizations. The event included over 110 attendees and raised $11,500 for Junior Achievement of Chicago which will reach 950 JA students in 40 classrooms. FSP partner firms who participated were; BMO Harris Bank, CME Group, Discover Financial Services, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Morgan Stanley, Urban Partnership Bank, and Wintrust Financial Group. FSP partner organizations who participated were; Chicago Scholars, Junior Achievement of Chicago, Link Unlimited, and the Posse Foundation.
Chicago Fed African American Association for Personal and Professional Growth (APPG) President Devin Patterson had a fantastic experience attending the Bowl-A-Thon event. Devin says “The first step in increasing the representation of African Americans and Latinos in the financial services industry is to bring the two groups together, and that’s what the Bowl-A-Thon did. It brought a diverse and talented group of people together for a wonderful cause.”
FSP’s initiative inspires Devin in his role as President of APPG, “I took this as a personal challenge to align our association’s objectives with the FSP’s initiative. As ESNGs, we are uniquely qualified to help move the needle for this effort and our membership is all in 100%.”
Chicago Fed Latino Resource Association (LRA) President Sandra Rolnicki says, “I’ve learned a lot from the FSP and the research they’ve shared around our Chicago financial services labor force. Maintaining the status quo is not sufficient. Change is needed to make our industry a better reflection of the diversity of our community.”
Overall FSP’s Bowl-A-Thon was a huge success thanks to FSP member firms and partner organizations planning and participation.