New initiative seeks to combat the rising financial stress among employees of color
Financial stress has become a pressing issue for workers in the wake of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. In particular, employees of color have been disproportionately affected due to historical and cultural factors.
Yemi Rose, a Jamaican immigrant in the United States, believes workplaces can play a crucial role in reversing this trend and creating a brighter financial future for disadvantaged individuals.
“We view the workplace as the frontlines in a battle to close the racial wealth gap,” said Rose, who is also the founder and CEO of OfColor.
OfColor, an enterprise dedicated to the financial empowerment of employees of color, partners with large corporations to improve the financial health of this vulnerable workforce. By offering financial technology tools, culturally relevant content, and financial coaching and therapy, OfColor aims to address the unique challenges faced by minority employees.
“We provide these enterprises with our technology and services in employee benefits to accomplish this. Our thesis is that we want to mimic the way the white middle class was created in this country, which was through FHA and GI subsidies distributed through the banking sector,” said Rose.
“We are looking at mass distribution through the employee benefit system to provide employees of color with subsidized tools and services,” he said.
“We want to intervene in the financial lives of the 20% of the employees in the workplace who are really struggling and, in doing so, have an outsized impact on the rest of the organization.”
Financial Finesse Ventures, a provider of workplace financial wellness coaching programs, recently announced its partnership with OfColor.
“Our intent is not just social responsibility but to invest in companies that are transformative, that have the ability to transform millions of financial lives for the better, with a particular focus on those people who need help the most,” said Liz Davidson, founder and CEO of Financial Finesse and Financial Finesse Ventures.
With funding from Financial Finesse, OfColor has the opportunity to extend its services to over 12,000 employers served by Financial Finesse.
“I see tremendous potential from the integration of our two companies. Together we will be able to meaningfully address the soaring rates of financial stress among employees of color, chip away at our country’s chronic racial wealth gap and transform millions of financial lives,” she said.
Through the partnership, Financial Finesse plans to introduce OfColor's group therapy and coaching sessions to its employer network and integrate the platform's materials into all digital hubs. This move will cater to the specific needs of minority workers, fostering a more inclusive and supportive financial wellness experience.
“We have long admired Financial Finesse’s effectiveness in driving life-changing outcomes for employees and value for employers,” said Rose.
“It is even more impressive that they have been able to achieve all that they have while remaining independent and without bias. As many of our users have been taken advantage of by the financial services industry, a strong ethical foundation was crucial in our choice of partner,” he said.
“We’re thrilled to join the Financial Finesse Ventures portfolio and to leverage their expertise to advance our shared goals.”
The joint initiative aspires to narrow the wealth gap for employees of color, offering them tools and resources to achieve financial wellbeing in an ever-changing economic landscape.
“Focusing on this population will drive not only transformation and possibly restore upward mobility but drive success as a company,” Davidson said.
“In our experience, doing well and doing good not only are not mutually exclusive but they are deeply integrated. You absolutely can do both for your organization,” she said.