Portfolio Administrator B|O|S San Francisco
As a woman of color, Cameo Roberson knows first-hand the difficulties of advancing in a mostly male, mostly white industry. When she began her career, she had no mentor; she didn't even have any role models who looked like her. So, once she became established, Ms. Roberson decided to become the mentor that she never had.
Motivated by a passion for financial literacy, she began conducting workshops in her community in 2013. She also brings diverse professionals to Financial Planning Association events and organizes tours of RIA firms, gaining them valuable exposure to the field.
"Just getting an interview is a huge barrier" for many novices, she said.
A real moment of enlightenment came at the 2016 National Association of Personal Financial Advisors conference. She and Daphne Jordan, a fellow African-American adviser, were discussing the challenges they faced, when a white woman approached them and said, "African-American women advisers? You do exist?" The encounter caused them to ask the NAPFA leadership what it was doing to promote diversity. The answer: Nothing.
So, together Ms. Roberson and Ms. Jordan founded, and currently co-chair, NAPFA's diversity and inclusion program to strengthen relationships between all professionals and their diverse clients. Ms. Roberson and Ms. Jordan also developed the first D&I session for the national NAPFA conference. Proof that diverse women advisers do exist, indeed.
— Kathy J. Mills