See it, Be it Role Model
Senior Vice President and Financial Adviser Morgan Stanley Florham Park, N.J.
“The first thing people think when they hear ‘diversity’ is ‘I’m losing something,’ but what diversity really means is embracing other perspectives,” said Rebecca Powell, senior vice president and financial adviser with Morgan Stanley.
She is active in the firm’s national Diversity & Inclusion Council and helped launch its Central New Jersey Complex Diversity Council.
The New Jersey council, whose 16-member volunteer team includes six white men, has been involved in three initiatives:
• Providing a mentor for each new hire, which is especially helpful for supporting and retaining employees from underrepresented groups or those from lower-income communities. “It’s very difficult for a minority if you don’t have those connections,” Ms. Powell said.
• Supporting community organizations that raise money for causes benefiting diverse populations.
• Partnering with the National Association of Black Accountants and the African American Chamber of Commerce as recruitment sources of seasoned professionals with more established networks.
With a career of more than 30 years in financial services, Ms. Powell has long embraced her own status as a role model and a pioneer.
“Being, so often, the only one in the room, I see standing out as an asset, not an impediment,” she said.
— Deborah Nason