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Diversitas – A Message That’s Resonating

By Carina Diamond, Diversitas board member

“Budgeting is BadA$$”. “Investing is for Girls.” “Diversitas Rocks.”

These messages were painted on rocks yesterday at the University of Akron by attendees of the 5th annual Diversitas symposium. The rocks will be distributed in northeastern Ohio to inspire young talented students to pursue careers in financial planning.

Nationally, over 600 students, industry professionals, academics and career influencers – guidance counselors, teachers and parents – participated in Diversitas programs on November 3rd. These programs, operating on a regional and national level, included a series of panels featuring some of our nation’s top talent, and, naturally, diverse experts addressing the most critical issues facing the financial planning and wealth management industry. These topics included misconceptions about the field, a shrinking talent pool, and a lack of diversity of financial professionals who are straining to address the needs of an increasingly diverse investors.

“It’s not all about math and sales,” one speaker proclaimed, in an effort to address the many myths about wealth management. In reality, there are dozens of well-paying and meaningful roles in the field that do not involve direct client contact, including marketing, technology, compliance and operations.

Dr. Barry Mulholland, Director of the Financial Planning program at The University of Akron, and founder of Diversitas stated, “I could not be more thrilled with the quality of our program, and its wide reach and impact thanks to the 25 partner universities who joined us this year. It’s obvious that our nation’s colleges and universities support our mission of greater diversity in financial planning and wealth management.”

It wasn’t just higher education supporting the effort. A range of leading financial services organizations including Charles Schwab, BNY Mellon | Pershing, FARE, Advisor Group, Cambridge and Cetera were national sponsors, providing support and fantastic speakers to help strengthen the event. “It is clear that the financial services industry acknowledges the need for greater diversity and is willing to invest in programs such as ours to develop a talent pipeline,” related Mulholland.

“Save Early, Save Often.” “Money is Solid.” “Diversify.” The motivating messages hand-written on rocks by aspiring financial planners are timeless. These and other lessons from Diversitas are resonating throughout the industry thanks to the sturdy group of academics and financial professionals in Akron, Ohio who persevered in developing the program, and went national and virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reaching out to our friends at colleges and universities nationally was completely organic,” related Dr. Mulholland. “I’m deeply heartened by the overwhelming support, and am confident we are impacting financial literacy in a meaningful way.”

As Chief Experience Officer of Dakota Wealth Management, Carina is responsible for providing leadership and mentoring to the other client advisors at Dakota Wealth, as well as directing marketing efforts for the firm. She also advises her own clients on investment and financial planning matters.

Before joining Dakota Wealth Management, Carina was the founder and CEO of Springside Partners. Her specialty is retirement planning and investment management – helping clients at every stage of life design a financial plan, customize or refresh a portfolio, or address a specific issue or life event. For more information about Dakota Wealth management, please visit