Now that the economy is stabilizing and financial services firms are hiring again, companies are focusing on diversifying their hiring practices.
Last week, Marsh & McLennan, a provider of risk, strategy and human-capital solutions, launched a diversity recruitment program, naming six minority, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and women-owned search firms to its "Inclusion Network," a diversity recruiting initiative announced last spring. The goal of the network is to attract a broader and more diverse talent pool to the company. The program is managed by Heidrick & Struggles, a leadership advisory firm providing senior-level executive search and leadership consulting services.
The six firms participating in the Inclusion Network are Hollins Group Inc., Youngblood Executive Search, CREW Advisory Services, Quinn & Associates, Wesley, Brown & Bartle Co. Inc. and McCormack & Associates.
Under the Inclusion Network program, when Heidrick & Struggles receives assignments from Marsh & McLennan, it then works with the search firms in its network to fulfill these searches.
Mindy Diamond, the president of Diamond Consultants, said that all firms would like to recruit more women and more diverse candidates. At the same time, they are recruiting quality, not diversity.
Michael King of Michael King Associates agreed.
"All the firms are saying they want diversity. They are all making an effort. Wells Fargo has put out three brochures for women and LGBT financial advisers specifically," King said.
"Part of the reason is that there is more of a focus on diversity with the Obama administration in Washington. Firms need more talent anyway, so if they can get diversity as well, that's what they're trying to do."
It's not only altruistic, King said. It's in the firms' self-interest as well.
"The more minorities, women and members of the LGBT community a company has working for it, the more people from those communities that will be likely to invest," he said. "The color of money is blind. Besides being concerned about servicing society, these firms are servicing themselves as well."
Peter Stanton, the chief executive of Stanton Executive Group, said he has seen more of a push for diversity recently.
"It's happening now because we are coming out of a couple of bad years and now firms are finally hiring again. Whenever companies start getting back in a hiring mode, I think it's natural to evaluate their practices."