What You Need to Know
- A growing number of financial firms are expanding gender-identity options beyond male and female.
- UBS expanded its gender self-identification options in May 2020.
- The CFP Board now collects data on planners who identify as non-binary.
Although a significant number of financial firms have significantly stepped up their racial and gender diversity initiatives in recent years, fewer of them have taken similar steps when it comes to those who identify as non-binary (neither male nor female).
But several organizations have expanded the gender-identity options with which their advisors, planners and other employees, as well as applicants, can voluntarily self-identify.
Most recently, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards added a non-binary gender option for current CFPs and future applicants, after announcing its plans to do so early this year.
“CFP Board began offering and collecting data on the non-binary gender option on April 1,” a spokeswoman told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday. Now, “all CFP professionals and candidates seeking CFP certification have access to this gender option and Mx. prefix in the CFP Board system.”
The data will be available starting May 1, on this web page, she said, adding: “The non-binary option data points collection will continue throughout this year. At this point, we don’t know how quickly we will be seeing this number increase as CFP professionals usually update their records at various times throughout the year. The non-binary gender option results will also be included in our annual milestone numbers announcement at the beginning of each year.”
UBS Expands Options
Meanwhile, in the annual Americas Region Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Impact Report that UBS released in March, the company said: “At all levels of the organization, an essential aspect of our progress is rigorous measurement that incorporates data evaluation, qualitative assessments and voluntary self-identification options, which we have expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to race/ethnicity, military veteran and disability status.”
UBS has “modernized our self-identification options to now include sexual orientation and expanded gender identity, in addition to race/ethnicity, veteran and disability status,” the report goes on to say.
What that specifically means is that when an employee now joins UBS, or at any point in their tenure with the firm, it provides the following sexual orientation and gender identity options that can be selected voluntarily: Bisexual, Gay/Lesbian, Heterosexual/Straight, Other preferred term or Prefer not to say. These expanded self-identification options were added in May 2020.
TD Ameritrade’s RIA Platform
Just after the tech platform rolled out, it drew the attention of advisor Cait Howerton, who said on Twitter the next day: “Exciting to see #RIAConnect for #NexGen Advisors being offered by @TDA4advisors, but it was disappointing to see the only gender options made available within the intake were male + female. Gender isn’t binary, @TDA4advisors.”