Robert Castillo came out of the closet to his friends and family when he was 16 years old. But when he first got a job at a financial advisory firm in his 20s, he didn’t feel comfortable coming out to his colleagues. The financial services’ reputation for being very male-centric contributed greatly to that decision. He felt he didn’t fit in and even considered leaving the industry at one point. He eventually did come out at work, and has become a leader in serving and empowering LGBT clients.
While Greg Fields didn’t come out of the closet himself—he’s straight—his son did at 13 years old. Fields wasn’t surprised by it; he spoke frankly to his son about gender and sexuality from a young age. But when his son came out, it did make him nervous; the first thing that came to his mind was his child’s safety. And even living in progressive Los Angeles, that was one of the realities he had to navigate with his son’s sexual orientation—bullying. Greg took action to help protect his son and to become an ally of the LGBT community.
In this episode of Transparency, WealthManagement.com Managing Editor Diana Britton talks to Robert and Greg, both financial advisors with Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management in Santa Monica, Calif., who co-lead the LGBT group at their firm. They share their stories in greater depth and explain what they’re doing to support the LGBT community in an industry that is—in many ways—still closed off to this culture.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Robert’s story of coming out in the financial industry
- How Greg educated himself on the LGBT community and what he did to help protect his son from bullying
- The importance of bringing good advice to this underserved community
- Robert’s advice for other financial advisors who are in the LGBT community
- What should be done to change the industry’s approach to LGBT issues
- How to be more open-minded about the LGBT community and the financial needs of the community
- And more.
Tune in now to hear their stories and find out what you can do to better understand and support the LGBT community within the financial services industry.
If you have a struggle and wish to share your experiences and help others in similar situations, please reach out to Diana at [email protected].