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  • Writer's pictureRianka

Changing the Financial Services Industry One Conversation at a Time

Updated: May 6, 2019

XYPN Contributor Brian Thompson, JD, CFP® writes about Rianka's contributions to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion through her podcast, 2050 TrailBlazers.

Three weeks before his assassination, Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, urged every gay person to come out:

As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell your neighbors. You must tell people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. And once they realize that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.

Even now, more than 40 years later, the LGBTQ community’s most powerful weapon is simple, although not necessarily easy—we need to show those in the majority that they know, love, or serve people like us.

Open, ordinary interactions can help destroy the myths, stereotypes, and “otherness” associated with being LGBTQ.

I’ve used this theory of conversation and connection as fuel for my diversity and inclusion work within the financial industry. A 2016 study authored by David Broockman at Stanford University and Joshua Kalla at the University of California Berkeley found that a simple 10-minute, non-confrontational conversation with a transgender person can significantly help combat anti-transgender attitudes.

Personalizing these issues by telling stories about our lives and challenges can help us succeed in improving diversity and inclusion.

Rianka Dorsainvil and her podcast 2050 TrailBlazers show just how powerful of a role conversation plays in moving the needle. This podcast aims to spark conversation about diversity and inclusion (or the lack of it) in the financial planning industry. For two seasons and counting, the podcast has shown how telling personalized stories can teach us all to be better, more inclusive advisors.



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