Strengthening diversity helps our company and economy grow responsibly

By Bank of America | 


This article was originally published as sponsor-generated content on POLITICO.

At Bank of America, our purpose is to help connect our customers and communities to the financial resources they need to be successful. When we help people live better financial lives and build stronger communities, our business and the economy succeeds. We are working to fulfill this objective within our company and in the communities and economies we serve.

Internally, it begins with recruiting and maintaining the strongest talent and building the most diverse teams we can to serve our customers and clients every single day. Diversity in our workforce provides a wide range of thought-leadership perspectives, helps us connect with the communities we serve, and makes good business sense.

Research shows that companies who rank higher in workplace diversity also perform better than their less-diverse peers because they have a broader array of perspectives and experience at the decision table. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians, and that number jumps to 35 percent for those at the highest performers for racial and ethnic diversity.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is not new at Bank of America; it is part of who we are. At Bank of America, over 50 percent of our global workforce are women, as are nearly 40 percent of our executive team. Almost 40 percent of our U.S. workforce is racially and ethnically diverse, showing our commitment to creating opportunity for all employees while maintaining a range of perspectives at all levels of our business. We work with more than 200 colleges and universities around the world to help us find new team members from places beyond traditional name-brand institutions, creating a pipeline of talent that will strengthen our workforce overall.

We’re one of the first financial institutions to incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity into our nondiscrimination policies, and to offer comprehensive domestic partner benefits for all couples. Our long history of supporting the rights of our LGBT employees is among the many reasons we spoke out against HB2 in North Carolina, where Bank of America is headquartered, earlier this year.

We also continue to partner with other companies who share our goals around diversity and inclusion. Earlier this month, our CEO Brian Moynihan – along with nearly 30 other companies – joined Paradigm for Parity, a coalition focused on continuing to drive progress in gender parity across all levels of corporate leadership by 2030.

Our commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion extend to the ways we support the growth of our local economies. For example, we understand that accessing capital can be challenging for some. In 2014, we began working with the Tory Burch Foundation and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to help connect more women entrepreneurs with low-cost capital to grow their businesses. And we work with a number of minority-owned small businesses and others who may need help to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities. This allows us to conduct our business in a way that provides capital within our risk parameters, while expanding the economy to include more individuals.

We also support a number of initiatives that help connect minorities and at-risk individuals to the skills and jobs they need. Through our Supplier Diversity program, we support the growth of diverse businesses through our vendor relationships with minorities, individuals with disabilities, and businesses owned by veterans, women, and the LGBT community. The inclusion of diverse suppliers across the company resulted in $2 billion of procurement spending with these businesses in 2015. And, earlier this year, Bank of America committed $40 million to connect 100,000 young people with the skills and employment experiences they need for 21st century jobs through organizations including the Urban Alliance, Jobs for the Future and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

These are just some of the things we’re doing to ensure we reflect and promote the rich diversity of the communities we serve – helping our business to grow responsibly and ensuring we are helping our employees and our communities to thrive.

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