The Women in Finance Charter: Pledging our commitment to gender equality

2018 Progress Report
Through our continued investment in women’s advancement, we are pleased to report that we are making progress towards our 2021 objective.

  • Our focus on recruiting female graduates into our Global Banking and Markets business in EMEA has led to an increase in the proportion of graduates who are female from 32% in 2013 to 42% in 2017.
  • In 2016 and 2017, 172 of our mid-level women participated in Pathways to Progression – an EMEA-wide programme which targets Vice President level women, to increase retention, engagement and accelerate the progression of these women. Of those who have participated so far, a third have been promoted.
  • At the senior levels of Managing Director and Director, the proportion of women being recruited to our EMEA business is at a five-year high from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2017.
  • Our award-winning UK Returning Talent programme has expanded to include Dublin and Chester. More than 350 women and men have participated since the programme’s 2012 launch in London, with many going on to secure roles with us or at other firms. Of our company’s hires through this programme, 83% are women.

Recent External Recognition:

  • Recognised as the World’s Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence, for the second time (2016 and 2018)
  • Recognised every year since its inception as one of the leading financial institutions on the Bloom-berg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (2016, 2017 and 2018)
  • Awarded the 2017 Working Mums (UK) Top Employer Award for Career Progression, for the second time (2015 and 2017)
  • Recognised by Financial News with the highest number of female executives featured on its list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Finance (2017)
  • Recognised by the UK Employee Benefit Awards for the Best Benefits to Support Working Carers accolade (2018)

“We are committed to creating a great place to work where everyone feels appreciated, supported and engaged through each stage of their career. This commitment is reflected in our drive for diversity and inclusiveness – diversity of gender identity, sexual orientation, thought, style, race, ethnicity, culture and experience. We know that it is this diversity that makes us stronger as a company, helps us to grow in a responsible manner and enables us to serve the unique needs of our global clients.” – Bernie Mensah, President EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Launched by the UK government in 2016, the Women in Finance Charter aims to improve gender diversity in UK financial services. As part of our global commitment to making Bank of America a great place to work, we invest in women at all levels of the company globally and our efforts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) align with the spirit of the UK Charter. We have targeted the achievement of 28% female representation in senior management roles across the EMEA region by the end of 2021.

Aspiration and Ambition

At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we believe the diversity of our employees and an inclusive work environment make us stronger. Diversity and inclusion are also critical to developing our company sustainably and are vital to how we drive responsible growth.

Around the world, we have a long history of supporting women throughout their careers. Our strategy, programmes and actions are guided by our ambition to be part of a broader solution for gender equality, contributing to the advancement of women both within our workforce and in society as a whole. This is supported by our long-term commitment to our attraction, recruitment, development and engagement programmes for women, which was reinforced in 2017 by our signing of the Charter.
Today, more than 50% of our global workforce, over 40% of our global management team and managers, and more than 30% of our Board of Directors identify as female.

Our ongoing work to invest in women as they make meaningful contributions within our company and in our communities includes our focus on being a great place to work for our female employees, making the financial lives of our female clients and customers better and advancing the economic empowerment of women in communities around the world. We have heightened our efforts to recruit and develop exceptional female talent, and we offer industry-leading benefits and programmes that help all employees to balance work and life. Our work to support gender equality has been well-recognized through our inclusion on the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (2016, 2017 and 2018) and our naming as the World’s Best Bank for Diversity by Euromoney in (2016 and 2018), among others.

Accountability

Around the world, managers are accountable for building diverse teams and fostering an inclusive environment. We pride ourselves on having a culture where every employee is valued for who they are and what they bring to our company.

Our Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Council, chaired by our CEO and comprised of senior leaders from across the company, is responsible for working with Global Human Resources (GHR) to set D&I goals and practices. In EMEA, our D&I Council is sponsored by the regional president and is comprised of senior executives from all lines of business and support functions who are held accountable for driving the D&I strategy across their business.

The Global D&I Organization is a team of employees whose full-time responsibility is to partner with GHR and every line of business and region to develop D&I strategies, recruit diverse talent, manage partnerships and alliances focused on diversity, and actively engage our employees. From our CEO down, every manager has D&I objectives incorporated into their business goals which contribute to year-end performance management discussions and decisions. Our focus on increasing the number of women at junior, mid and senior levels, is a key part of this.

Data helps to drive action and ensure that we focus on the right initiatives that will have the biggest impact. To that end, quarterly dashboards for gender representation are produced for senior leaders and the D&I Council, highlighting areas of success and opportunity.

Key Initiatives

With a continued emphasis on identifying, developing and retaining female talent across our company, we run a variety of programs that support the career progression, learning and development, and sponsorship of women from junior to senior levels.

Attraction and Recruitment
We are committed to bringing more women into financial services at a senior level, and into roles that offer the prospect of significant progression.

  • We actively attract women from schools and universities from across EMEA to join our female-specific insight programmes, Female Futures and Females in Finance, which provide a pipeline of female junior talent. To foster the development and cultivation of this group, we host events with female leaders at the bank and provide female buddies and mentors to those joining our summer internship programme right through to those joining as full time analysts.
  • Our Talent Acquisition team consults with the business and works with specialists to build diverse talent pools and pipelines. They do this by engaging specialist suppliers to deliver diversity-focused market maps designed to support integrated succession plans at the senior level; and ensure a contractual commitment with suppliers to provide the company with a diverse slate of candidates for all roles.
  • Our award-winning Returning Talent programme reflects our innovative approach to recruitment, inviting women and men who have been out of work for more than a year, to explore the changing workplace, build professional connections and access executive coaching. Events are held annually in London, Chester and Dublin, and since the programme’s launch in 2012, we have helped more than 350 participants to regain their confidence and continue their careers with us or at other firms. Of our company’s hires through this programme, 83% are women.
  • Our focus on recruiting female graduates into our Global Banking and Markets business in EMEA has led to an increase in the proportion of graduates who are female from 32% in 2013 to 42% in 2017.
  • At the senior levels of Managing Director and Director, the proportion of women being recruited to our EMEA business is at a five-year high from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2017.

Development and Engagement
We are committed to developing and retaining female talent by building a supportive culture and creating opportunity for all.

  • We deliver a far-reaching range of programmes designed to advance and develop careers at all levels. These include targeted career support for female employees and access to/sponsorship by senior executives.
  • Through Manager Excellence sessions – covering D&I, engagement, career coaching and teamwork – we discuss the important role that managers play in gender equality.
  • Our annual Global Women’s Conference convenes top female leaders to discuss leadership, mobility, advancement, family and community.
  • In 2016 and 2017, 172 of our mid-level women participated in Pathways to Progression – an EMEA-wide programme which targets Vice President level women, to increase retention, engagement and accelerate the progression of these women. Of those who have participated so far, approximately a third have been promoted. This is critical to increasing female representation at senior levels.

Our family-friendly support helps with work/life balance.
Our range of benefits and programmes provide parents and carers with the support they need at all stages of their family life cycle. This includes paid and unpaid leave, shared parental leave and new parents workshops and coaching.

    • In the UK, workplace assessments for pregnant women are available through our Occupational Health team, to ensure they’re comfortable at work.
    • In all of our locations, confidential assistance is available 24 hours a day at no cost to our employees
    • Around the world, we offer back-up care programmes. In the UK, My Family Care offers each employee 20 days of company paid childcare and 20 days of company paid adult or eldercare each year. Employees can book replacement or emergency care over the phone, online or via the My Family Care app.
    • In the UK, mothers and primary adopters are offered up to 52 weeks leave of which the first 26 weeks is paid leave with a further 13 weeks paid at as statutory leave, the remaining leave is unpaid. Partners are also offered two weeks of paid leave.
    • Parents can also opt to share the Adoption or Maternity leave. Shared parental leave allows new parents the flexibility to share time away from work to provide care and have the chance to bond with their new-born or adopted child. Leave taken within the first 26 weeks is paid leave.
    • New parents are also offered workshops and coaching to help with the transition they go through when going on an extended leave and providing support on their return.
    • In 2017, we installed a Maternity Room in our London offices. The room is available for expectant and returning mothers for rest or expressing milk.
    • In the past year, we enhanced our travel reimbursement policy to support nursing mothers. Employees can expense costs associated with shipping expressed breast milk back home to their child while away on approved business travel.
    • Flexible work arrangements help to better manage life and work schedules.
    • We have several Employee Networks which focus on the recruitment and development of women, and a Parents & Carers Network which provides comprehensive support for employees with families or caring responsibilities.

    Supporting women in the community
    We recognize that gender equality is an issue that reaches beyond Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the broader financial services sector. That is why we are committed to advancing and inspiring women outside our organization.

    • Women play a significant role in advancing economic growth within their communities and in the global economy. Through a variety of programmes we connect women to the capital, resources, networks and mentoring needed to help them achieve success:
      • As lead corporate supporter of Inspiring the Future, more than 1,000 of our employees have shared their time and professional insight with thousands of young people across the UK and Ireland.
      • Through our partnerships with STEMettes and Code First: Girls (CF: G), we host creative and interactive events in the UK and Ireland to encourage young women to consider a career in technology. In 2018 we expanded our partnership with CF: G in support of their 20:20 campaign – which aims to teach 20,000 young women to code for free by 2020.
      • Our Global Ambassadors Programme invests in emerging female leaders around the world, matching women with world-class mentors including members of our global and regional management teams.
      • Our support of the Cherie Blair Foundation connects female small business leaders in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to mentoring expertise to help advance their businesses.

    External Recognition
    Our policies and practices supporting gender equality, as well as our transparency and disclosures, have earned us recognition as an industry leader

    • Winner of Euromoney 'World’s Best Bank for Diversity & Inclusion 2018'
    • Highest number of EMEA executives on the Financial News '100 Most Influential Women in Finance 2017' list
    • Ranked as leader on 2016, 2017 and 2018 Bloomberg Financial Services 'Gender-Equality Index'
    • Awarded the 2015 and 2017 'Top Employer Award for Career Progression' from Workingmums
    • Winner of Euromoney 'World’s Best Bank for Diversity 2016' & 'World’s Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility' in 2015 and 2017
    • Consistently ranked in the top 4 in Undergraduate Employers' 'Rate My Placement Top 100'
    • Awarded Women in Banking & Finance's 2016 'Team Diversity Award' (joint entry by our three EMEA women’s Employee Networks)

    12/21/18


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