This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias and we at RiverFront are proud to stand in solidarity with others around the world on March 8th to show our support of women, their achievements, and raising awareness against bias. But what does #BreakTheBias mean and how does a firm work to instill that as the norm? For RiverFront it started when our own associates saw a need to support and uplift women inside of our organization and the talented women that we work with externally. RiverFront’s women’s initiative, ENGAGE, was launched with a mission to change the experience for women in financial services through mentorship, education, and support. Through some “grassroots” efforts and simply trying things out, we found impactful ways to support and uplift women. As it turns out, there are no special resources required – just a sincere desire to make a difference.
As an organization that is 40% female, this initiative was embraced immediately by our all our associates - both men and women. Our Senior Executive Assistant shared “While women have made many important gains in representation in the last few years, we are still a long way from equality. Combating the biases women face at work is critical to getting this right. Getting paid equally for the work you do is the bare minimum. We should celebrate how far we’ve come but continue to move towards where we want to be” as part of her ‘why’ in helping to build this internal initiative. Our Chairman of the Board of Directors shared, “We are so fortunate to have women who are strong role models for both their female and male colleagues, for their own children, and for our clients. ENGAGE has provided a platform for education and increasing awareness of the importance of building an inclusive workplace that RiverFront has benefitted from since its formation.”
We have also experienced an overwhelming response externally from our advisor partners across the country. RiverFront has recognized the importance of instilling confidence in women as investors and continues to work with advisors to provide meaningful communication strategies to ensure we are reaching women investors. These conversations showcase how women’s natural strengths provide advantages in investing and work to increase confidence in their female clients. Every conversation, meeting and presentation focused on this topic advances’ our firm’s effort to #BreakTheBias for women in our industry. Our Chief Compliance Officer shared "This call to action resonates with me because whether conscious or unconscious, we all need to strive for a world that is free from bias. And we need to invite everyone to participate in this fight, not just women, but people of all genders, races, backgrounds, and identities. We all have a role to play if we are ever going to be successful in reaching equality."
Bias can be intentional or unconscious, either way it makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing it exists and understanding how to recognize it provides us the opportunity to take action to support women’s equality and inclusion. #BreakingTheBias can also take place within your own family conversions. Our Chief Marketing Officer shared “International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to have intentional conversations with my daughter and my husband. It’s a moment to create awareness, instill confidence in girls and young women, and reflect on how to support and uplift each other. Right now, at home we are talking about my daughter’s strengths and seeing past stereo types for girls.” Having conversations with members of younger generations can help to break the bias in our schools, colleges, universities, and our communities. Our Director of Internal Sales shared “Today, and every day I will be a role model to my kids, showing them how to love, be kind, be strong and be inclusive.” We as individuals are responsible for our own thoughts and actions as we interact with others out in the communities that we live. The more we speak out and uplift women around us the more of an impact we will have to #BreakTheBias for good.