There are many business reasons why companies recognize the need to build a diverse workforce and sustain it with a robust strategy. However, for the strategy to be effective, it must be rooted in the company’s vision, brand, and business goals. Schwab has been a leader in financial services for four decades, working to make investing more affordable, accessible, and understandable to diverse investors. Driven by a desire to champion every client’s goals with passion and integrity, Schwab is committed to providing an environment that respects and values the diversity of its employees, its clients, and the communities it serves.

Leadership in Action

Looking forward, the company believes it is imperative to continue to focus on talent and growth, while continuing to develop best practices. Schwab’s immediate goal is to expand an internal network of senior leaders and business partners committed to coaching and mentoring Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders. This network will also serve to broaden ERG leadership-in-action experiences related to innovation in regional talent brand strategies, investor education, and employee development.

Developing a Strategic Plan

In addition to developing leadership skills and helping to build a strong talent pipeline, Schwab ERGs develop strategic plans that align with overall business growth goals. A prime example of this planning is the success that the Women’s Interactive Network at Schwab (WINS) has had with Financial Life Planning for Women Month, an initiative that enables Schwab to deepen relationships with, and better serve, women investors. WINS strives to heighten awareness among women investors, and help women plan for life events and increase their investment and savings knowledge. The next iteration of ERGs will have a stronger business alignment and increased participation from senior leaders as mentors, coaches, and talent developers. Schwab expects this will turn its ERG model into an even more powerful development platform.

Schwab is also cultivating its diversity talent outreach approach in the communities it serves. This year the company launched BRIDGE (Building Relationships and Inclusion for Diverse Growth and Education). This initiative features in-person forums that offer insights about the firm’s client-service culture and career paths, as well as networking opportunities with Schwab leaders and employees. The company’s goal is to expand this offering in 2014 and continue to develop innovative ways to build relationships with diversity talent and client pools.