What is Bank of America’s approach to diversity?
At Bank of America, we embrace the power of our people and value our differences — in thought, style, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, ethnicity and experience — recognizing that our diversity makes us a stronger company. Encouraging a diverse, inclusive workplace gives us the business advantage of understanding and meeting the needs of our diverse customers, clients and communities. It’s just good business.
Diversity and inclusion are central to our company's values. Every day, we are focused on delivering on the promise of being a great place for people to work. We actively promote an inclusive environment where all employees have the opportunity to achieve personal success and contribute to the growth of our business.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion starts at the top with our CEO Brian Moynihan, who chairs our Global Diversity & Inclusion Council, which is comprised of senior leaders from around the world. Their leadership has created a culture that keeps diversity and inclusion top of mind for managers throughout our organization. Each business and region has its own Diversity & Inclusion Council that defines and executes the business and regional diversity and inclusion priorities. Our Global Diversity and Inclusion strategy focuses on five key strategic planks: Creating a Culture of Inclusion; Leadership Representation and Accountability; Employee Engagement; Education and Development; and External Brand positioning.
We also help realize the power of our people through our Employee Network program. Employee Network chapters vary based on the needs of the region and play a critical role in helping us achieve our Global Diversity and Inclusion strategies around networking, recruiting and business development. Today, we have 12 Employee Networks across the globe that actively engage more than 60,000employees in 200 chapters through more than 600 events each year. Our Employee Networks include:
- Asian Leadership Network
- Black Professional Group
- Disability Affinity Group
- Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement
- Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development for Women (LEAD)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Resource Group
- Military Support Affinity Group
- Multicultural Leadership Network (Europe and Emerging Markets)
- Native American Professional Network
- Parents and Careers Diversity Network
- Young Professionals Network (Asia Pacific)
- Inter-Generational Employee Network
- IGEN is our newest employee network that was piloted last year in Atlanta in an effort to assist and address the many different generations working/represented at the bank. We wanted to create an employee network that would provide these different generations with the sources to assist them – as they move through different life stages – personally and professionally. That could be as simple as pairing a Gen Y with a Gen X employee in a mentoring relationship – both are at uniquely different stages in their lives but can learn from one another – whether it’s how to navigate through the bank or learn how to better communicate in the digital age.
What sets your recruiting, career development, and work-life programs apart?
Recruiting and Career Development
We are committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining top diverse talent from across the globe. Bank of America is actively involved to increase diversity hiring with a focus on early candidate identification and development through partnerships with key schools and external diversity organizations. We partner with 12 US-based, diverse colleges and universities and actively recruit at 200 global schools; focused and targeted diversity efforts. Additionally, we recruit at Historically Black Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Women‘s Colleges. In 2009, we created the Diversity Executive Recruiting team, which identifies prospective executives and connects talent to leaders within our organization.
Global Focus: In May 2012, we partnered with the Executive Coaching Consultancy and Mumsnet Family Friendly program to launch the Returning Talent program. This program is available to women and men from a variety of industries who are looking to return to the workplace after taking time away to care for their family. It is designed to provide practical guidance to help participants feel prepared and confident to re-enter the workforce.
We opened the program to 21 women who had been absent from the workplace for three or more years. At our London offices, we provided the participants with three one-day workshops that offered guidance on resume writing and interviewing. More than 50 percent of participants returned to the workplace following the workshops. Michelle Fullerton, head of Diversity and Inclusion for Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says, “As an employer of choice and recognized as one of The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women, we are keen to ensure we attract, retain and develop talented individuals. We recognize that choosing to have a family is a very important stage in a person’s life, and that some decide to take time away from work to focus completely on caring for their family.”
Military Commitment: Bank of America has a long history of supporting our nation’s military. We recruit military personnel and spouses, and employ more than 5,000 veterans and reservists. We find valuable the training, operational skills and leadership ability these men and women have developed while protecting our country. Their work ethic, integrity, trust and teamwork perfectly align with our values and make us a stronger company.
We continue to enhance our nationally recognized military recruiting efforts, and last year, we hired 1,590 military employees, surpassing our goal of 1,200 new hires. We assist military employees through a variety of employee network groups and support programs. In April 2012, we launched the Military Affairs Advisory Group to support service members and their families through philanthropy, hiring, and customer service. We also recently made a commitment of $1 million for the George W. Bush Institute Military Service Initiative, to jointly help coordinate the activities of numerous non-profit organizations that are improving the well-being and economic security of our veterans. Other key partnerships include Operation Homefront and the Wounded Warrior Project, which provide support and programs to meet the needs of wounded service members. We also strengthened our Military Support & Assistance Group, an employee network that creates advancement and leadership development opportunities, and numerous other military-related employee programs such as the Veterans Transition Sponsor Program, Military Dependent Retention Program, Military Annual Reserve Training and military leave for deployments.
“The process helped me to feel like the training and experiences I learned in the Military mirror the same training and standards at Bank of America. The military is a stellar organization and I believe that the bank is also stellar; they care about their people and continue to deliver programs and incentives that help make our lives more enjoyable,” said Jeanette Eason, Retired Air Force and current employee, Wealth Management Client Services.
Worklife Programs – What sets us apart
At Bank of America, our most important asset is our people. When employees are engaged, satisfied and rewarded, they are best positioned to in turn deliver for customers and clients around the world. We partner with our lines of business leaders and employee networks to engage with a variety of organizations to find the best talent for our company.
We actively recruit military service members and veterans and also expanded our focus to recruit military spouses. In 2012, we committed to double our military hiring efforts through additional recruiting staff and partnerships with external organizations. Bank of America formed a task force to increase the number of people with disabilities hired into the company through advocacy, internal education and external partnerships.
The bank is committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining top diverse talent from across the globe. In 2009, we created the Diversity Executive Recruiting team, which identifies prospective executives and connects talent to leaders within our organization. Bank of America is actively involved to increase diversity hiring with a focus on early candidate identification and development through partnerships with key schools and external diversity organizations.
Today, we provide a work environment and resources to meet the diverse needs of our employees at every stage of their lives.
- Encouraging a diverse, inclusive workplace allows us embrace the power of our people to deliver for customers and clients around the world.
- Bank of America supports a wide variety of flexible work arrangements, including satellite offices that decrease commute times, formal and informal work-from-home programs, compressed schedules and part-time work.
- The bank provides paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
- The Child Care Plus program reimburses employees for child care expenses incurred while the employee is working.
- Employees can take time from their work week to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice.
Supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace will continue to be an important part of our efforts to live our core values. Companies will need to leverage the knowledge and expertise of baby boomers retire and new generations enter the workforce. We have had an active diversity and inclusion program for more than a decade and have received recognition for our programs, including:
- Bank of America named best place to work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign for the seventh year in a row.
- Among National Association for Female Executives' (NAFE) Top Companies for Executive Women for the third year in a row.
- Among DiversityInc magazine’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” on the list for the last 12 years.
- One of Military Times EDGE magazine’s “Best for Vets 2012: Employers” for the past three years.
- Black Enterprise – eighth year on the list; supplier diversity.
- Merrill Lynch Wealth Management led all financial services firms on Barron’s “America’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors” list.
How long has Bank of America been a corporate partner of CUP’s and why does your organization value this relationship?
We have been a sponsor of CUP since 2008. Bank of America’s Diversity and Inclusion mission is to actively promote an environment where all employees have the opportunity to achieve personal success and contribute to the growth of our business. Encouraging a diverse, inclusive workplace gives us the business advantage of understanding and meeting the needs of our customers, clients and communities. That is why we are so proud to partner with leadership development organizations like CUP that share our commitment and belief around the importance of developing strong business and civic leaders. Our partnership with CUP supports provides our company with programs like the Distinguished Leadership Series, Power Breakfasts and the CUP Leadership Institute that allow us to attract the best talent and educate our existing workforce. We value our partnership with CUP and thank them for the role they play in affecting real social change both in the public and private sector. It is an honor to work with them to achieve real growth and prosperity in our communities.
How do you think CUP will have the greatest impact?
CUP is poised to develop a diverse group of future business and civic leaders through their robust programming including the Leadership Board, Fellows Program and the Executive Leadership Program. Leadership development is the key attribute and tie that binds these programs on multiple levels. The multidimensional, cross-industry networks that CUP has created provides for great diversity of thought and perspective within a community of leaders with significant access to one another and their firm’s senior leadership. As such, CUP is in a unique position to impact both Corporate America and Government at every level.