The American College of Financial Services has launched a scholarship program to help boost the number of African-Americans in the financial services industry.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 7.6% of financial advisors are African-American, though members of this demographic group account for about 13% of the U.S. population.
To start the program, The American College is providing $200,000 in scholarships.
“One of the biggest problems facing the financial services profession is a profound lack of diversity,” said American College CEO Robert Johnson, in a statement.
“We believe all of us in this field have more work to do in recruiting, educating, placing and supporting thousands more African-American financial advisors. The face of this profession needs to change, and the change can start right now if all of us pull together,” Johnson explained.
Some firms, such as Raymond James, have been pushing to support existing African-American registered representatives. Its Black Financial Advisors Network has doubled in size to about 50.