Culture & Diversity

New inclusion network: Encore

Encore Logo

You’ve just finished the performance of a lifetime – given the inspiring presentation, implemented the change-making process, hosted the six-course holiday meal – and the crowd wants more. What will you do for an encore?

Those of us approaching the latter stages of our careers know there is always something next, something more.

We are trying hard to succeed in our careers – to expand our skills, explore innovative methods and connect with coworkers across generations. We are caring for loved ones – our parents are getting older and our children are relying on us. We’re also paying the bills, cooking dinner, hiring the roofer, saving money and trying to have a little fun. We are living in the moment while keeping an eye on the future.

Sometimes, it can feel like a lot.

Encore, an inclusion network that formally launched in March, provides guidance, instruction and reassurance for Raymond James associates facing the challenges that come with our accomplishments. The result of a grassroots effort and backed by the support of its executive sponsor TJ Haynes-Morgan, chief audit executive, Encore is the firm’s sixth inclusion network for associates – a forum for learning and a place to connect.

“So many people have personal stories of caring for family members, rejoining the workforce, preparing for retirement – we knew Encore could help address these challenges and opportunities so that associates of all ages can thrive in the workplace,” said Denise Matson, a member of the inclusion network leadership team and vice president in the firm’s Compliance department.

Today’s U.S. workforce spans five generations and one in every five workers is over 65, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2024, 35% of workers will be 50 and older.

Network events held during Encore’s pilot year addressed topics related to major life events, including powers of attorney, trusts, caretaking, divorce, retirement saving and employee benefits. Surprisingly, network leaders discovered the topics resonated with associates of all ages.

“Our original vision was that Encore would be for more mature associates, but we found that many more demographics were interested,” said cofounder Leslie Shults, also a vice president in Compliance. “We want everyone to feel invited and for the network to have a multigenerational aspect that includes reverse mentoring. We need someone to tell us what FOMO means.”

The firm’s Associate Inclusion Networks, open to all associates, are business resources groups that promote inclusivity through the work of their leaders and members. Similarly, our Advisor Inclusion Networks support advisors and the communities they proudly represent, providing resources, strategies and a forum for sharing ideas designed to enhance their businesses.

Through recognition, education and fostering a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace, Raymond James puts the power of perspectives into action for the benefit of our clients, our firm and our communities.

“Our inclusion networks allow us to celebrate and engage people with unique backgrounds and experiences,” said Pedro Suriel, the firm’s senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. “Encore is an important addition because it helps support associates who are pivoting from one thing to the next in their lives while also remaining productive in their careers.”