Being a diverse and inclusive company is essential to our ability to drive responsible growth and serve our clients, communities and each other. That’s why we continue to invest every day in helping women make meaningful contributions within our company and in our communities. This includes bringing talented women to our company, developing our female employees and supporting the economic empowerment of women around the world.
International Women’s Day on March 8 is another opportunity to highlight how we continually support women at our company and around the world. This global day falls within National Women’s History month in the U.S. ― a moment in time to highlight the contributions of women throughout American history.
In the early 1900’s, Merrill Lynch made history at the beginning of the women's liberation movement by hiring America's first bond saleswoman. Now, women make up more than half of our company’s global workforce, nearly 40% of our global management team and nearly 30% of our board of directors.
“We’re committed to investing in the development, empowerment and advancement of women in our company,” said Global Human Resources Executive Sheri Bronstein. “It’s important that all employees ― women and men ― feel empowered and motivated to enable the success of women each and every day.”
Attracting and developing female talent
We continue to attract diverse talent and provide employees with tools and programs to support their success and help them advance their careers. We partner with more than 200 colleges and universities worldwide to recruit diverse talent and have a variety of development programs and business networks to help women grow and succeed. We also have programs designed specifically to support the development and retention of our female employees — including our Global Women’s Conference, our Women’s Executive Development Program and our Women’s Next Level Leadership Program.
We have a variety of enterprise and line of business networks in place to enable women to do their best work and develop skills they need to grow into future roles. This includes our Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) for Women employee network, which has more than 25,000 members. The network’s focus is to attract, develop, advance and retain female professionals. We also formed an Investing in Women Leadership Council, which brings together senior executives representing the company’s lines of business, Global Diversity and Inclusion organization and women-focused networks, to serve as advisors and champions of our efforts to advance women.
Progressive workplace policies and benefits
We offer a range of benefits and programs to help manage responsibilities at work and at home. In 2016, we extended paid parental leave, giving employees 16 weeks of paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave. Eligible parents can receive up to $240 reimbursement per month, per child for eligible child care expenses, along with options for backup care. Employees caring for their aging parents can take advantage of our adult care services program, which offers resources, support and expertise to help manage these responsibilities.
Advancing women’s economic empowerment through partnerships
Women play an increasing role in helping advance the global economy with 37% of all businesses worldwide owned by women. We’ve formed partnerships to connect women entrepreneurs to tools and resources that will enable them to grow their businesses and make contributions to the global economy. In the U.S., we’ve provided $24 million in affordable loans to nearly 1,100 women business owners through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, powered by Bank of America. Around the world, our Global Ambassadors Program, a partnership with Vital Voices, and partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation connects women entrepreneurs to mentoring and skills-building that will help them build business acumen. In addition, we partner with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) to help women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Afghanistan strengthen their businesses and communities. Since 2012, we’ve helped nearly 4,000 women from 80 countries strengthen their businesses and foster economic growth.
We’re proud of our efforts to invest in women
- We were named to Bloomberg’s annual Financial Services Gender-Equality Index for the second year as a global leader in supporting the development and success of women in the workplace.
- We were recognized as one of the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) 2017 Top Companies for Executive Women for the ninth year.
- We were recently named as the Best Bank for Diversity by Euromoney.
- We’re ranked as one of Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies for the 28th consecutive year.
- We’ve had five senior executives ranked among the top women in banking by American Banker magazine.
- We joined the Paradigm for ParitySM coalition, which is committed to achieving gender parity in corporate leadership by 2030, as a way to further demonstrate our commitment to gender equality.