“We believe in order to cultivate innovation, we must embrace diversity of thought, background and experience across our firm,” Managing Partner Jim Weddle said.
The pledge –the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion –involves more than 150 companies that have agreed to work more closely together to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
“I am proud to sign my name to this pledge on behalf of our firm,” Weddle said. “One of our core strategies outlines our business case for inclusion and diversity and our opportunity to increase our client impact when we are successful in attracting, retaining and developing a talented, diverse workforce. We believe in order to cultivate innovation, we must embrace diversity of thought, background and experience across our firm.”
The three primary elements of the pledge align well with Edward Jones core value of valuing and respecting individuals and their contributions. All the signatories serve as leaders of their companies and have committed to advance diversity and inclusion by implementing the following:
• Continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusio
• Implement and expand unconscious bias education (this refers to a bias that one is unaware of, and which happens outside of one’s control and influenced by background, cultural environment and personal experiences
• Commit to share best—and even unsuccessful—practices with one another and track the progress of such practices.
Edward Jones has moved forward on creating a more diverse and inclusive environment. The firm began the conversation around micro-inequities (the repeated sending or receiving of negative micro-messages) eight years ago, and introduced a course on “Unconscious Bias” last year.
Edward Jones received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index in 2016. The firm incorporates programs to help attract and support women and diverse financial advisors. And for seven years, Edward Jones has held a highly successful Inclusion and Diversity week, including a career fair for diverse job candidates, at its St. Louis headquarters.
“We recognize that these three commitments are not the complete answer, but we believe they are important, concrete steps toward building more inclusive and diverse workplaces,” Weddle said. We know there is more work to do. I signed my name to this because I believe all of our associates should be able to bring their best selves to work and unleash their full potential while serving our clients.”