Building a Diverse Team

Date: Oct 27 2020

Ruth Easterling, Managing Director, Member Services

Successive generations want to leave a legacy, and are looking at future prospects and pathways for the family office to be a more diverse workplace. Why does diversity matter in the family office setting? Vincent Robinson, Founder and Managing Partner of the 360 Group, says diversity matters because family offices tend to be relatively hidden in the broader labor market, and competition can either be limited or be quite stiff.

So how do you successfully promote diversity? Robinson highlights some areas for us to think about:

  1. Work with the family to help everyone understand how diversity can add to the success of the family office.
  2. Diversity of all sorts – demographic and experiential, makes for better teams.
  3. There’s a mindset sometimes that if you’re focused on hiring diversity, you’re going to sacrifice in quality. That’s a dangerous mindset and is simply not true.
  4. Take advantage of the opportunity to introduce “family offices as a career” to nontraditional sources, and potential employees who are not familiar with the family office landscape.
  5. Remove as much bias as possible from your recruiting and hiring practices.

People shouldn’t be afraid to bring it up and talk about it. It is on people’s minds, because it’s important. Ask, is diversity important to you? There are no real wrong answers. But it’s good to be aware and to define it. Remember, it depends on what you think of as diverse, as what is diverse for some, isn’t diverse for others.

Really it’s about understanding interpersonal dynamics, and not excluding people because you think that they’ll upset the apple cart. Building diversity comes down to core values, and shared values. There are number of groups and organizations that specifically pay attention and gather diverse candidates. It’s your job to identify those hubs, organizations and associations who look specifically for diversity.

Be intentional about building a diverse workplace. Have an inquiry process and don’t be afraid to ask what people care about, and why.. Most importantly, realize that it’s okay to open up those conversations.


Ruth Easterling is managing director of member services for Family Office Exchange (FOX). In her role, she works with family and advisor members to understand their objectives and provides guidance to help address their unique needs through the resources available at FOX. Ruth also moderates the Private Trust Company Network and works with the team at FOX to develop programming and insights for the Network. Ruth has held multiple roles at FOX including leading FOX member services, supervising the delivery of learning programs, and overseeing marketing to drive the redesign and brand initiatives that differentiate FOX today.

Areas of Expertise: Family Office Best Practices

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