Are NYSE/NASD Soft on Racism?
...I find it curious that so many have missed this topic.
Oh...and to answer your question. Yes.
I just read the diversity article in March's RR and I can tell you with no hesitation that I believe there is a problem in our industry with racial and sexual discrimination. While I am a white anglo male, I've witnessed countless instances of sexual discrimination and even though minority numbers are low in my market area, several instances of racial discrimination at my former employer. While that wasn't the root cause of why I left last summer, I resented it and freely admitted to several female co-workers that I believed we worked for a sexist organization. I'm frankly embarrassed that we as an industry are as calloused as we are, and I think that Wall Street is still, for the most part, and old (white) boys club.
That being said, the RR article made a great counterpoint that I've also wondered about..."Some believe the idea of black advisors for black investors (and) Hispanic advisors for Hispanic investors defeats the purpose of diversity and is actually racist." Count me among those folks. I have been the subject of reverse discrimination and while discrimination by anglos against minorities is probably more prevalent (at least from my observations), that could just be a function of population makeup, and minorities who engage in such behavior don't deserve our sympathy. I've often wondered what would happen if the roles were reversed and current minorities were actually in the majority. I believe that anglos would be just as persecuted/discriminated against as today's minorities. I'll never defend racists or sexists of any color or ethnicity, but let's remember while we're bashing us white anglo males, that discrimination comes in many flavors, and anglo males are far from cornering the market.
I wish I could say that I have the solution to this problem, but it appears that as a society, we'll just have to keep playing these things out in court...