Diversely has long been heralded as one of the most important aspects that a given company/organization can reflect. One might disagree with this and point to the fact that diversity is necessarily less important than profitability or integrating with consumer needs and providing key solutions within the marketplace…
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As a function of seeking to understand diversity in a more effective manner, the following analysis will discuss and provide a narrative account and analysis of an interview which was conducted with the owner and director of a US-based financial services and planning group. In such a way, it is the hope of this author that after reading and integrating with the information that has been put forward within this analysis, the reader will be able to come to a more informed and actionable level of understanding regards to the role and overall level of importance that diversity plays status that a given business entity might experience. Further, due to the fact that it is the express goal of this particular student to ultimately directs the company of my own, the analysis will include with an introspective look at the means by which information presented help to formulate a better understanding of diversity and have over regards to my own professional development. Cheryl Holland, developer/owner/CEO of Abacus Planning Group LLC, located in Columbia, South Carolina, began as a financial planner for Merrill Lynch. Although ultimately satisfied with her career at Merrill Lynch, like so many other entrepreneurs, Holland had a desire to start a firm of her own. Realizing that financial services could best be integrated on a personal level and were entirely and completely ineffective when integrated by at a multinational banking Corporation, Holland set out to create just such a financial planning service. Comprising only for employees at the beginning, the firm undertook and asymmetrical level of marketing which relied solely upon word-of-mouth as a means of generating new clients. However, of particular interest to this analysis is the means of overall diversity and the importance that Holland placed on this diversity even in the early stages of business development. The reason that this level of emphasis upon diversity is something of a shock is due to the fact that Holland, educated in upstate Pennsylvania was operating a firm in the deep South. As such, the overall level of cultural diversity that existed within the society at large, let alone the labor force, was extraordinarily limited (Simms, 2013). However, realizing that this was an impediment to achieving a degree of diversity and by extension overall success, Holland sought to maximize the diversity that her start up reflected by hiring a Mexican-American client services representative, a Ukrainian financial advisor, and a female IT professional. Ultimately, the next section of this analysis will seek to measure the importance that diversity plays and played within Abacus Planning Group as Cheryl Holland chose strategies that sought to maximize it. Firstly, when asked regarding what specific cultural background she had and how this impacted upon the level of diversity within Abacus, Holland noted that she was raised in a white middle class family that had little if any interaction with other racial or cultural groups. However, once she left to attend Brenmore College in upstate Pennsylvania, she came to see the overall positive impacts that cultural diversity could have. More specifically, when asked concerning her personal views with regards to diversity, Holland noted that increasing diversity is not only the ethically correct step to take, it maximizes efficiency. Due to the fact that
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