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ST. LOUIS – Edward Jones won the Inclusion category at the 2019 Money Management Institute (MMI)/Barron’s Industry Awards at MMI’s 2019 Annual Conference on Oct. 15 in Atlanta. The awards, which recognize innovation and leadership in the investment advisory industry, honored the financial-services firm for its Inclusion & Diversity Mentoring Program, a home-office program that fosters mentoring relationships, encourages relationship building, and helps associates maximize their potential in an inclusive business environment.
"Mentoring has been an integral part of our culture and we believe it’s even more imperative to foster an inclusive environment by encouraging cross-cultural mentorships," said Emily Pitts, principal, Firm Inclusion and Diversity. The leaders and tenured associates volunteer to mentor others of all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. The results have been extremely positive for the mentees and especially for those who may be less represented overall in the industry.
"Our Inclusion and Diversity Mentoring Program is really a two-way conversation, pairing leaders and associates to build relationships and understanding that, ultimately, lead to greater opportunities for our associates," Pitts said.
Mentors are encouraged to learn about their mentees’ work styles, strengths and development needs, particularly as they relate to career strategies and leadership potential. Mentors also share their knowledge and experiences with mentees to help the mentees identify strategies for personal and professional development.
"The program has been very successful at giving all associates, no matter their background or personal experiences, access to the leadership of the firm," Pitts added. "In a very intentional way, it is helping mentors and mentees identify professional development and leadership opportunities to maximize every associate’s potential."
In addition to inclusion, the Industry Awards, now in their 11th year, honored winners in 10 other categories, including digital innovation, sustainable investing, thought leadership, doing good, distribution excellence and industry disruption.
The Inclusion award is the latest in a number of prestigious awards recognizing Edward Jones for its leadership in promoting and fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In 2019, Edward Jones earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 17th Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ Workplace Equality. The firm ranked No. 7 on the 2019 FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For list and ranked No. 65 on Forbes magazine’s 2019 America’s Best Employers for Diversity list.
Edward Jones was one of the first 150 companies in June 2017 to sign the “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion” pledge, a nationwide initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Managing Partner Penny Pennington reaffirmed this commitment by re-signing the pledge in 2019. She also is the senior executive sponsor of the firm’s LBGTA Business Resource Group.