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CFP Board Reports Increase in Diversity of CFP Professionals in 2021

The Board cited growth in the numbers of female, Black and Hispanic CFPs, though these groups still represent small portions of the overall profession.

The number of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals surpassed 92,000 for the first time in 2021, up 5,723, or 3.8%, over the previous year, according to the CFP Board. The Board cited increases in the number of female, Black and Hispanic CFP professionals.

According to new statistics released this week, the number of female CFP professionals jumped to 21,504, representing more than 23% of all CFPs, a boost of more than 4% over 2020. Women represent 51% of the general population.

The number of Black and Hispanic CFPs jumped to 4,196, a figure that was nearly four times the growth rate of all other CFP professionals. 

CEO Keven Keller said the Board was encouraged by the growth in diversity, calling it one of the Board’s “core strategic priorities.”

“While we are proud of our growth, there is much work ahead of us as we develop initiatives to further strengthen the talent pipeline for years to come,” he said.

Though the 2021 numbers for Black and Hispanic professionals indicated a 13.8% increase over 2020, these groups still represent a small portion of CFPs overall. According to the newest numbers, Black CFPs make up 1.8% of all CFPs (and 1,652 professionals in total), while Hispanic CFPs make up 2.7% (2,499), and biracial Black and Hispanic CFPs represent 0.1% (45).

If you look at the general population, 14.2% identify as Black or African American and 18.4% as Hispanic or Latino.

Kamila Elliott recently took over as the Board’s 2022 chair, becoming the first Black woman to fill that role, and the board continues to run several scholarship programs through its Center for Financial Planning, including several programs intended to boost diversity in the industry. 

The challenge to diversifying the CFP professional population mirrors slow progress in industry diversity in general; according to a recent analysis from Cerulli Associates, only 18% of advisors in the industry were female as of 2019, a 0.8% rise from the prior year. Additionally, Cerulli found that only 2.9% of advisors identified as Black or African American, while 5.1% identified as Hispanic or Latino, and 4.3% identified as Asian.

The Board also announced that moving forward, it would report racial and ethnic diversity data of CFP professionals on a monthly basis, and made changes to the reported categories; they will include American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, White, Multi-Ethnic or Other.

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