As a firm, Charles Schwab has been committed to fostering inclusion in financial services since its founding. In 2021, the firm is expanding its efforts significantly with four new programs that lend support in the areas of teen financial literacy, college scholarships, employee mentorship and meeting the needs of Black investors.
“We are excited about the new directions we are taking with these programs and the expanded support they will offer under-resourced individuals and our local communities,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation and managing director of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. “These new initiatives build on our decades-long commitment to inclusion and bring our support to life in exciting new ways.”
The four programs began taking shape last year, when the Schwab Executive Committee announced the Board of Directors has approved an expanded approach to D&I that focuses four dimensions:
- Inside: programs aimed at supporting employees at Schwab
- Outside: programs aimed at supporting our clients and local communities
- Today: programs that create immediate impact
- Tomorrow: programs that create impact over time
Schwab will begin implementing the following programs early in 2021:
Corps of Financial Literacy Volunteers
Employee volunteers will be trained to deliver financial education programs, with a special focus on under-resourced teens from low-income backgrounds.
Schwab will create a special corps of employee volunteers who will be trained to deliver financial education programs, with a special focus on under-resourced teens from low-income backgrounds. The program will consist of a best-in-class training and certification program for employees so that everyone interested feels confident and skilled to participate.
“Through the Foundation, we have been helping people achieve financial security for decades, reaching millions of under-resourced teens across the country with financial education through our national partners, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Donors Choose, and SIFMA Foundation,” said Schwab-Pomerantz. “With this new volunteer program, we will expand our partnerships and increase the number of Schwabbies volunteering to bring our financial literacy programs to communities across the country and, ultimately, increase the number of teens we serve.”
Scholarships for Underrepresented College Students
A $3.5 million endowed scholarship program to provide financial assistance and career opportunities to college students from underrepresented communities.
Through the Charles Schwab Foundation, Schwab has endowed a $3.5 million scholarship program to provide financial assistance and career opportunities to college students from under-resourced communities.
“We believe programs like our scholarship endowment can have a meaningful impact in people’s lives by creating educational opportunities, which can help break down barriers and open new possibilities,” said Schwab-Pomerantz. “Schwab was founded on the belief that our industry should be more inclusive. By providing encouragement and support to under-resourced students to consider careers in financial services, we can strengthen both our company and industry.”
Under-resourced students at seven universities near our employment centers are eligible to apply for approximately $10,000 a year in scholarship funds. In addition to the two-year scholarship, recipients will be invited to apply for and participate in an internship at Schwab, and the program will make other voluntary mentorship and professional development opportunities available to help prepare the students for a successful career in financial services.
Participating schools include:
- Arizona State University
- Purdue University
- Temple University
- Texas Tech University
- The University of Akron
- University of Arizona
- Virginia Tech
In addition to the direct benefits to the scholarship recipients, the program will also assist these universities in enhancing their student diversity for the benefit of the entire student body.
This endowment complements other scholarship programs for under-resourced communities, funded through Charles Schwab Foundation, including:
- A $500,000 contribution to fund scholarships at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Bethune-Cookman University, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, and Prairie View A&M University.
- The RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship Program through Schwab Advisor Services, which aims to raise awareness of the independent investment advisory profession and provides $10,000 scholarships to twelve students, reserving half for students from under-resourced groups.
Mentorship for Underrepresented Employees
Schwab’s senior leaders will serve as dedicated mentors to support the career growth opportunities for employees of color.
Schwab will establish a new structured and formal mentoring program for colleagues of color, with dedicated mentors from senior and executive management.
Schwab’s senior leaders will serve as mentors to support career growth opportunities for employees of color, and participants will focus on leadership development to prepare them for career advancement opportunities, broaden their professional network, and develop meaningful, supportive relationships with senior leaders.
“Formalizing a structure for valuable mentorship opportunities lifts our colleagues of color by supporting career progression, and helps Schwab retain talent and foster its open and inclusive workplace culture,” said Ryan Reynolds, senior managing director of talent and organizational development.
Partnership with Ariel Investments
A co-sponsorship of the 12th annual Black Investor Study, the similarities and differences between Black and white Americans when it comes to saving, investing, and other financial priorities.
Schwab re-established its relationship with Ariel Investments, the first minority-owned investment management firm in the country, to co-sponsor the 12th annual Black Investor Survey. This body of research explores the similarities and differences between Black and white Americans when it comes to saving, investing, and other financial priorities.
“I’m thrilled to refresh this important research with a long-standing ally, Ariel Investments, to raise awareness of the beliefs and experiences of the Black investing community so we can better serve their needs,” said Rick Wurster, executive vice president of Schwab Asset Management Solutions. “Our research revealed noteworthy differences about the opportunities to create wealth between Black and white investors, as well as a surge in investing among Black investors in 2020.”
Schwab first collaborated with Ariel on the Black Investor Survey in 1998. The12th edition of this study examines the:
- Factors, particularly past influences and underlying beliefs, that may impact how Black and white Americans think about financial matters
- Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on investing trends
- Expectations, issues and sentiment that Black and white Americans face in their financial future
- Shifts in attitudes or behaviors that have occurred over time
Schwab will release the findings of the Black Investor Survey on February 25.