2018 Pride Month: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of creating a more inclusive workplace

It’s the diversity of our people that makes Bank of America what it is today. We are proud to recognize and support the diversity of our workforce, and during Pride Month, we celebrate the impact LGBT+ individuals have had on our company and the communities we serve.

A long-standing history of being a diverse and inclusive workplace

At Bank of America, we recognize the power of diversity and value all our differences — in thought, style, culture, experience, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Twenty years ago, in 1998, we enhanced our commitment to workplace inclusion when we became the first financial services company to offer comprehensive domestic partner benefits, and the first to incorporate sexual orientation into our non-discrimination policies. Since then, we have continued to foster a culture of inclusion, encouraging our employees to bring their whole selves into our four walls; served our LGBT clients and customers with pride; and been resolute in our commitment to the LGBT communities we live and work in. And to help continue to drive positive change and engagement for our colleagues, Bank of America has the Ally Program, in support of our LGBT+ Pride employee network.

Ximena Delgado is a Senior Vice President and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Program Manager at Bank of America. Ximena joined Bank of America 20 years ago, just as our domestic partner benefits policy was beginning to take shape. During her tenure, she has experienced firsthand the financial and personal impacts that the benefits offer; for example, Ximena and her wife took advantage of the enhanced policy when they began to start their family in 2003 with her wife’s pregnancy. “Having these benefits at work means that I work for a very progressive company, and it feels like I’m being supported in the right way. Being out and supported at work means that I can bring my authentic self to work every day.”

When all employees the access to the same benefits, regardless of their sexual orientation, we’re able to build and maintain a more inclusive work environment. While Bank of America employees are all unique in their talents and personalities, we believe they should never differ in the opportunities they have access to.

Alex Oliphant is a Global Commercial Banking Vice President and has been at Bank of America for 24 years. Alex also uses these benefits, and his husband recently joined his benefits plan. Additionally, Alex is active in our Employee Networks as a member of the Leadership Team of the Arizona LGBT+ Pride chapter and serving as an Arizona Ally Ambassador. “I think by allowing everyone to bring their whole selves to work, and by supporting the community at large, it really does attract top-drawer talent. I think perspective associates are looking for an inclusive environment; it’s not just the LGBT community, but the entire workforce.”

Support that comes from all sides

Support for the LGBT+ community at Bank of America permeates throughout our company. We launched LGBT+ Pride in 2009, which is a company-supported Employee Network that combines the LGBT+ groups from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. LGBT+ Pride then launched the Ally Program comprised of non-LGBT+ members dedicated to supporting the LGBT+ community. Today, there are more than 21,000 visible allies and employees in more than 1,000 cities across 30 countries.

Wynne Lum is also an ESG Program Manager at Bank of America, and is a member of the company’s Ally Program. “One of the many things that are so great about Bank of America is its inclusiveness. As an Asian American, I want to be recognized for what we contribute to the company, and I also want all of our teammates at Bank of America to be recognized like that. To have employee networks and to become an Ally means that we can all publicly support our teammates.”

The Ally Program represents Bank of America’s holistic approach to inclusivity. We are committed to the belief that everyone deserves to feel respected when they show up to work. In order to achieve this, we believe that our entire company should be encouraged to participate.

“We are proud to have been the first financial services company to offer comprehensive domestic partner benefits 20 years ago. Through best-in-class, progressive benefits like that, and initiatives like our Ally Program, we are continuing to enhance our policies and offerings to reflect our values and support the diversity that makes us strong,” said Sheri Bronstein, Global HR Executive. “All of this work is a fundamental part of our commitment to be a great place to work for all of our employees.”


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