CFP Board gets first report card on diversity efforts

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After renewed efforts to improve diversity, is the CFP Board seeing signs of early success?

The board reported the number of people of color and women holding its designation increased to 2,916 and 19,248, jumps of 8% and 3.6% from the prior year. Overall, the board said the total number of CFPs is now an all-time high at 83,106, reflecting its efforts to promote the designation more broadly.

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Yet while their numbers are rising, people of color and women remain under-represented among CFPs and the industry more broadly.

The percentage of all CFPs who are black and Latinos, 3.5%, is about the same as in 2017. Women represented 23% of CFPs last year, in line with the previous year as well as the industry at large.

The CFP board has acknowledged that its ranks do not reflect the diversity of the overall population. “Obviously, this was significantly less than their share,” CEO Kevin Keller told attendees of the diversity summit in October. “This is a systemic problem that cannot be addressed by any one organization, firm or individual. It requires getting people engaged, identifying solutions and [taking] action.”

Financial professionals are aware of the need for more diversity and gender parity within the industry. Firms including Raymond James, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo and TD Ameritrade have established programs designed to encourage greater diversity within their institutions.

“It’s great to see an increase in the number of diverse financial advisors that are expanding their capabilities and expertise through the CFP certification,” says Les Borzy, Wells Fargo Advisors diverse client segments manager. “The progress the CFP Board makes is correlated to the success we have as an industry — as indicated by the creation of opportunities for talented women and people of color who didn’t view themselves in these roles in the past."

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Diversity and equality Gender issues CFPs Kevin Keller CFP Board