Women’s Economic Empowerment

Jan 09, 2014

New mentoring initiatives highlight the bank’s commitment to advancing women leaders.

By investing in and empowering women inside and outside the company, Bank of America is creating strong leaders who are contributing to the growth of local economies.

“Our signature initiative, the Global Ambassadors Program, developed in conjunction with Vital Voices Global Partnership and launched in 2012, connects women leaders from emerging countries with senior executives from a range of business sectors, including Bank of America, for one-on-one mentoring,” says Candace Browning, head of Global Research at BofA Merrill Lynch. The program helps women overcome personal, business, civic and other barriers to economic empowerment. “Through mentoring forums held in Haiti, South Africa, India, Singapore, and Brazil, we’ve convened hundreds of women to discuss how women’s leadership can help address economic issues facing their countries,” Browning adds. “The next forum will take place in Qatar this fall.” Additional information about the program, including blogs and videos from the various forums, can be found at the Bank of America’s Global Ambassadors Program website.

In response to employee interest in mentoring, the company has partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation, to pair more than 400 mentors, including Bank of America employees, in a virtual mentoring relationship with women entrepreneurs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The goal is to build the skills of these women leaders to help advance their businesses, and develop critical communications, advocacy and business acumen.

Bank of America has a long-standing commitment to mentoring as part of its broader volunteer engagement. Employee volunteers gave more than 211,000 hours towards mentoring activities last year. And the company is a Founding Sponsor of 1000 Women for Mentoring, an initiative of MENTOR, which is working to advance quality mentoring relationships for the 15 million young people in the U.S. who are in need of a mentor.

“These efforts expand upon our numerous programs aimed at connecting women — both our women clients and women within Bank of America to the tools needed for economic success,” Browning notes.

These include:

  • Philanthropic investments and leadership development programs.
  • Socially Innovative Investing, which includes the recently launched (proprietary) investment strategies for clients focused on women’s and girls’ equality.
  • The Women and Wealth program, which is focused on delivering solutions that meet the unique wealth management needs of women.
  • Socially responsible private equity investments for clients, focused on women business owners.
  • The bank’s Supplier Diversity and Development Program, which ensures that the bank seeks products and services from diverse businesses across the organization, including women-owned businesses.
  • Line of business councils, engagement forums, and an enterprise group focused on women’s professional development: Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) for Women, provide women at the company with leadership opportunities and skills development.

For more information, go to Bank of America's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) website or U.S. Trust's women's website.

Important Information

The featured participant is not an employee of U.S. Trust. The opinions and conclusions expressed are not necessarily those of U.S. Trust or its personnel.

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