The American College of Financial Services is the nation's largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services. For close to a century, The College has remained the best investment for financial professionals and organizations, delivering applied financial knowledge and education, promoting lifelong learning, and advocating for ethical standards for the benefit of society. Since The College's Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) program graduated 21 designees in 1928, America's economic security has been tested numerous times by market volatility, global tensions, and social strife. Through it all, The College has responded by expanding educational programming and ensuring curriculums encompass ethical-decision making–helping financial professionals grow in expertise to address the evolving needs of their clients. Today, The College offers nine professional designation programs, two graduate degree programs, continuing and non-credit education, and several consumer e-learning education programs. Over 180,000 living alumni have chosen The College as their lifelong learning partner.
C-Suite Diversity Leadership Program
Numerous studies demonstrate that people of color are grossly underrepresented in financial services, and their representation decreases significantly at higher management levels. Black professionals only occupy 3.2 percent of the senior leadership roles at large U.S. companies and just 0.8 percent of all CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. Past efforts to promote and retain Black mid-level managers to serve as a pipeline to fill executive- and senior-level positions have been inconsistent and ineffectual. The American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality has developed a culturally-relevant, profession-specific approach to ensure aspiring Black leaders can climb the corporate ladder in financial services. The first cohort of the Black Executive Leadership Program began this April in Charlotte, NC.
Black Women Trust and the Financial Services Industry
The American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality is committed to promoting economic justice with collective, community-focused solutions that last. The Center identifies systemic challenges and proposes actionable solutions, integrating underserved community needs with industry business goals by leaning on profession-wide human capital and robust data. Black women are civic-minded leaders, financial decision-makers, and the keystones of their families’ social, educational, and financial knowledge. The Center identified the need to understand Black women’s relationship with the financial services industry as paramount to promoting increased financial education and empowerment within communities. In the third quarter of 2021, the Center began the most extensive exploration of middle-income Black women’s trust in financial services to inform the industry on how best to develop a true advisory relationship.