The University of Akron announces nationwide financial planning diversity symposium, Diversitas


Logo for Diversitas

The University of Akron’s College of Business Administration (CBA) today announced it is hosting its fourth annual financial planning symposium, Diversitas: Expanding Diversity in Wealth Management, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from noon to 3 p.m. EDT. The symposium, named for the Latin origin of “diversity,” examines ways to attract more women and people of diverse backgrounds into the financial planning profession and wealth management industry, and is free for all to attend.

“Diversitas gives current and future financial planning and wealth management professionals an excellent opportunity to learn from industry experts about what can be done to move diversity and inclusion forward within these professions,” says Dr. Barry Mulholland, lead organizer of Diversitas and director of the CBA’s financial planning program. “This event will also give those who are underrepresented in the financial planning profession a better understanding of the great opportunities that exist in the industry.”

Diversitas brings together financial planning and wealth management industry leaders, career influencers, and undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to discuss career opportunities in the financial services industry. The symposium, which is taking place entirely online this year, will include virtual panel discussions and breakout sessions, enabling students and industry professionals to engage and discuss topics and key panel takeaways in smaller groups.

Speakers include some of the financial services industry’s top thought leaders and advocates, including:

  • President and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research Inc., Amy Webber;
  • CEO of Cetera Financial Group, Adam Antoniades;
  • Managing Director and Senior Managing Counsel at BNY Mellon’s Pershing, Tonia Bottoms;
  • Charles Schwab & Co. Executive Vice President Lisa Hunt and Vice President Cynthia Owyoung;
  • CEO of Suzanne Siracuse Consulting, Suzanne Siracuse;
  • Co-CEO of 2050 Wealth Partners, Lazetta Rainey Braxton;
  • Chief Operating Officer at MarketCounsel, Walter K. Booker;
  • and Chief Experience Officer of Dakota Wealth Management, Carina Diamond, among others.

University of Akron Vice President for Inclusion and Equity, Jolene Lane, will be leading a panel and University of Akron President Gary L. Miller will provide welcoming remarks. Diversitas is sponsored by Charles Schwab Investment Management, Cetera Financial Group, Cambridge Investment Research and BNY Mellon’s Pershing.

In addition to The University of Akron, Partner Universities include California Lutheran University, California State University, Northridge; Edinboro University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, Olivet College, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, The Ohio State University, University of Georgia, University of North Florida, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We are so grateful for our sponsors, who have made it possible for us to offer Diversitas on a national scale this year,” say Dr. Susan Hanlon, interim dean of the CBA. “These sponsor organizations recognize diversity and inclusion as a critical piece of the future of financial services, and they are taking the necessary strides to make a difference. Financial advisors play a major role in advocating for diversity, and our goal is to provide them with the tools they need to be role models for future professionals.”

For more information or to register for Diversitas, please click here. Registration for the event must be completed by Oct. 20, 2020. Professionals can also join the conversation on social media by following the CBA (@UACBA) on Facebook and @UAFPSA on Twitter and using the hashtag #diversitasFP.

Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or