By Timothy Leggett, PRIDE National Chair at Schwab
Since the day it was founded, Charles Schwab & Co. has sought to break barriers. Whether leveling the playing field for investors by eliminating fees or providing easier access to investment advice, Schwab has continually sought to challenge the status quo.
True to its founding principles, Schwab has also been at the forefront in challenging the way the finance industry looks. Through the creation of 11 different employee resource groups (ERGs), Schwab seeks to broaden the conversation about how we attract and retain talent from many different communities. Those communities may be looking at the finance industry and thinking, “I would not fit in with that career.” From my experience, I believe many would be surprised at just how welcome and included they could feel at Schwab.
There are a number of ways Schwab is partnering with the LGBTQ community to attract diverse candidates and support those who are within our community to feel comfortable at work. The issue of gender identity is a growing global topic and one that some may view as divisive. At Schwab, we have taken steps to be an open and affirming company starting by installing gender-neutral restrooms in some Schwab locations, which is a small step. In our HR system, employees have the option of including their gender identity, sexual orientation, and pronoun preference as identifying information. The options include transgender, third gender, non-binary, or an option to choose not to identify.
Schwab is focused on attracting talent from the LGBTQ community. Our talent acquisition folks work with local universities and their Pride chapters to host recruiting and informational events. This is where we can help people understand that financial services is not the closed-minded world that some may think it is.
Schwab strives to obtain multiple viewpoints from people of many diverse backgrounds and experiences in order to better affect change.
- Timothy Leggett
In our communities, we support and volunteer for many different LGBTQ organizations across the country. We partner with youth homeless shelters, Pride education centers, Pride Parade organizations, and many more. We do this so we can work in the communities in which we live and show that Schwab is making a difference. For 16 consecutive years now, Schwab has earned a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Equality Index. We continue to focus on the intricacies involved in planning for the future within the LGBTQ community. We recently hosted a nationally broadcast seminar which created a dialogue around some of those issues, and made it available to employees, our clients, and anyone interested.
We regularly host webcasts for employees with a focus on being open, out, and accepting. The webcasts cover a range of topics, including transgender awareness, leadership, and financial education within the LGBTQ community, past struggles within the community, and how these challenges have strengthened each of us. The webcasts are shown in our multiple facilities and branches, allowing employees everywhere to participate.
In my view, Schwab is one of the most accepting and understanding companies within the finance industry. While, like any company, we always have room for improvement, we continue to work tirelessly to improve the resources, visibility, and openness of Schwab for the LGBTQ community, both from an employment and investment perspective.