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Cynthia DiBartolo, Wall Street Project chair, shares how to increase diversity

Cynthia DiBartolo, Wall Street Project chair, shares how to increase diversity
Wall Street Project conference at the Sheraton New York hotel in Midtown Manhattan (Photo by Terry Shropshire for rolling out)

NEW YORK – During the Wall Street Project’s silver anniversary conference, power brokers from the world of finance convened at the Sheraton New York hotel in Midtown Manhattan to celebrate the many successes but also strategize about how to manifest greater levels of inclusion and diversity.

The Wall Street Project, founded and spearheaded by civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson, was started 25 years ago to enact viable measures to shepherd more African Americans and others into the financial services sphere, and to create fruitful mechanisms to make the highly profitable financial sector more attractive to students of color.

The moderator of this prestigious panel of executives from financial services firms, Cynthia DiBartolo, is the chairperson of the Wall Street Project as well as the chairperson of the Financial Services Committee of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition

“Today, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wall Street Project, which was created by Rev. Jesse Jackson two and a half decades ago at the New York Stock Exchange,” said DiBartolo, an attorney and CEO of Tigress Financial Partners.

“And I brought together some of the organizations that represent the best practices in diversity inclusion, equality of opportunity in financial services,” DiBartolo added.

The firms who participated in the panel represent the who’s who of internationally influential financial firms: Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon / Pershing, Deutsche Bank, Ariel Investments, BlackRock and the New York State Insurance Fund. While lauding the huge steps made under Jackson’s leadership, the panelists articulated additional ways that men and women of color can be further entrenched in this vastly important sector.

“Each of those firms are also critical to the impact that we are having here. See, they don’t compete on a diversity status. They are competing on merit,” said DiBartolo, who is also the CEO of RISE Financial Services. “And because of them, and because of the initiatives that we discussed today with these panelists, we are moving the needle in financial services with respect to diversity [and] inclusion of equality of opportunity.

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