Bank of America signed the UK Women in Finance Charter in 2017, building on our long-standing commitment to improve gender equality within our organization and in society as a whole. In 2021 we increased our target from 28% to 33% adjusting our scope to focus on females in the most senior management roles across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by 2025. We are making positive progress; we currently have 28.5% female representation in senior management roles across EMEA and we recognize that in order to achieve our goal we must continue to focus on our efforts to increase gender representation.
Being a great place to work is the foundation of how we drive Responsible Growth. We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for our employees around the world, creating opportunities for them to grow and develop, recognising and rewarding performance, and supporting their physical, emotional, and financial wellness.
We invest in women within our company and in the communities we serve, by focusing on being a great place to work for our female employees, making the financial lives of our female clients better and advancing the economic empowerment of women in communities around the world.
We understand the role we play in influencing and driving progress around diversity, inclusion, racial equality and economic opportunity in financial services, the private sector, and the communities where we live and work. As we continue to take meaningful steps towards driving diversity at all levels of the company, we are fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable brining their whole selves to work. Our ongoing commitment to invest in gender parity focuses on supporting and developing our female talent within the Bank to thrive and progress their careers with us.
In 2022, as the health crisis evolved, we continued to prioritize our teammates’ health, safety and wellbeing. The bank also continued to take positive steps to address the needs of our diverse workforce. We also continued to create opportunities to help our employees grow and develop in their careers whilst focusing on being a diverse and inclusive workplace. This support has continued whilst the bank has been reviewing its approach to returning to the office safely.
We also published our achievements through the Human Capital Management Update within our 2021 Annual Report (Driving Responsible Growth – now and going forward). The report provides a comprehensive view of Bank of America’s progress against key workforce metrics across gender and ethnic diversity, compensation, learning and leadership development, and clarity around initiatives supporting the needs of our global workforce.
Our commitment starts at the top
Creating an inclusive environment starts at the top. Our leadership team is held accountable for driving positive progress in female representation, our culture, promoting inclusivity and for being a great place to work.
- The Global Diversity & Inclusion Council (GDIC) promotes diversity goal setting which is in turn embedded in the bank’s performance management process and occurs at all levels of the organization.
- We leverage diversity dashboards which allow our leaders to track progress and to identify trends, challenges, and opportunities.
- Data is reviewed on a regular basis with our Board, our management teams and our EMEA Diversity & Inclusion Council in order to drive accountability and positive progress in female representation.
Key EMEA focus:
Our strategy, programmes and actions are guided by our commitment to be a great place to work, whilst also contributing to the advancement of diverse talent, both within our workforce and in society as a whole.
Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining a Diverse Workforce
- Achieving responsible growth means we want to attract, develop, and retain the best people. In 2022 we have focused on senior female manager representation and have driven this through our gender dashboard across the business. We have also continued to enhance our efforts on early careers recruitment, continuation of female employees’ engagement throughout the bank via various channels and external partnerships from experienced recruitment to early careers.
- We offer a variety of opportunities including apprenticeships, insight programmes, summer internships, industrial placements, and full time graduate and experienced roles to provide diverse talent with a range of career opportunities.
- Over the years we have seen a steady increase in the diversity of our intake from the early careers recruitment to experienced hires. The diverse representation on our early careers intake for the 2022 cohorts (spring, summer interns and graduates) were amongst some of the best we have had when compared to previous years.
- We encourage mentorship and shadowing as well as specific insight events to help inspire young women to go into roles in finance and we leverage role models from our organisation to help support, encourage and inspire future talent.
- We partner with many external organisations in order to attract and hire diverse talent including: Black Young Professionals, upReach, Career Transition Partners, Code First Girls, myGwork, MyPlus Consulting, Officers Association, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, upReach, Women in Tech, 10,000 Black Interns and Vercida, Stafford Long, Ada College, Sponsors for Education Opportunity (SEO). In addition, since 2013, we have actively hired interns and graduates from Africa. We recognise that we must focus on intersectional diverse talent as our pipeline of leaders for the future.
Growth & Development
It is vital for the Bank to provide the capability for our employees to be able to learn and continue their professional development. We therefore provide a variety of resources to help our internal workforce to grow and develop in their current roles.
- Learning Hub: The learning hub enables employees to create personalised learning plans tailored to their roles, unique interests and learning style.
- Pathways: We offer Manager Excellence and Personal Effectiveness training covering a range of development topics, including inclusion learning and conscious and unconscious bias training.
- Global Developmental Programmes: We deliver an extensive range of programmes designed to advance and develop careers at all levels including our Diverse Leader Sponsorship Programme, Next Level Leadership Programme and our Executive Development Programme. During 2022 we saw a significant increase in employee participation for all three programmes.
- Internal Mobility: Visibility of available roles and cross-functional opportunities are provided to current and prospective employees.
- Career Path Tool: We have also expanded our award-winning Career Path Tool. This is designed to give employees visibility into career options across the Bank so they can develop a career plan that meets their goals for the future. Early research indicates that users of the tool are up to three times more likely to find their next internal opportunity.
- Internal Career Site: ‘myCareer’, provides a one-stop portal for the career needs of employees, including job search capabilities and career planning tools.
- Other initiatives include: tuition reimbursements, targeted career support for female employees, access to and sponsorship and mentoring by senior executives, reverse mentoring, conference opportunities and programmes to increase retention, engagement and the accelerated progression of women within our workforce.
Promoting Inclusivity in the Workplace
We are investing in our workforce, consistently working to drive a culture of inclusion, we have developed and provided employees access to a range of programmes and resources focused on building progress and understanding in the workplace.
Throughout the bank various initiatives have supported the advancement of diversity within the organization from the ‘Women Ready to Lead’ event which saw over 60 women Vice President + level talent drive collaboration, development and engagement to the execution of the UpReach associate engagement strategy. This engagement looked to increase representation of those from lower-socio economic backgrounds, including the addition of attraction through the upReach Tech Springboard which is a two year programme supporting students looking to gain insight into the Engineering sector.
In addition to the above we also offer our employees access to:
- Let’s Get Real…Courageous Conversations; these are a series of organised talks and resources focused on issues impacting our communities. They aim to promote open dialogue to help employees gain a greater understanding and appreciation for one another.
- myD&I Development Programme: this focuses on diversity and inclusion learning sessions created for individual contributors and employee network members. This module supports the growth of inclusivity within the workplace.
- Inclusion Manager Series: these focus on providing learning opportunities to equip managers to better address bias and drive inclusion deep within their teams
Connecting our employees
Throughout the Bank we provide the platform for our employees to feel connected and engaged. Through our diversity leadership councils and Employee Networks we have created channels to further advance our activities within diversity and inclusion and by providing peer-to-peer support, continuous engagement, and development.
- Across EMEA we have 7 Employee Networks, compromised of 30+ chapters and more than 11,100 memberships. The Employee Networks help employees develop leadership skills, build ties with the local communities and advance diversity recruitment.
- Our networks include Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development for Women (LEAD), Parents and Caregivers Network, Multicultural Leadership Network and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride, Disability Action Network (DAN), Intergenerational Employee Network [iGEN], Military Support & Assistance Group (MSAG).
- The largest network in EMEA is LEAD, with more than 2,100 members across five chapters. Key initiatives include: male advocacy, mentoring circles, senior leader discussions, intersectional discussion and work with community partners such as ForceFemme in France, SmartWorks in the UK and the Women of Ireland fund.
- Additionally, we have affinity networks in specific lines of business including Women in Technology and Operations (WIT&O) and Womens Leadership Council (WLC) in Global Banking and Markets. Affinity networks help connect women to specific challenges within their subject matter areas.
- We also reinforce our commitment to diversity and expand our impact by partnering and connecting with other organisations focused on advancing and driving inclusion in the workplace, including Code First Girls, STEMettes, Women in Finance & Banking Business and Finance, 30% Club, WeAdvance, Stonewall, Business in the Community and Business Disability Forum and Valuable 500.
Promoting Physical, Emotional and Financial Wellness
We are committed to supporting our teammates and their families’ wellbeing by offering flexible and competitive compensation, benefits and resources which reflect our commitment to being a great place to work.
We continue to focus on the developing wellbeing needs of our employees with the introduction of Menopause education and support.
- We offer flexible benefits packages that employees can tailor to their own needs including: flexible holiday entitlements (UK employees can purchase additional days off), employees also receive support with their healthcare and insurance benefits.
- We offer back up family care and, where workable from business perspective, flexible working arrangements to help employees balance their work and personal lives.
- We provide coaching and transition support (both pre and post leave) for new and expecting parents, in addition to paid family leave (maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave) above statutory entitlement for eligible employees.
- In particular, eligible employees are entitled to enhanced maternity/adoption leave pay of 26 weeks’ full pay.
Support & Thrive:
- In 2020, we launched Thriving for Families, which provides employees with access to emotional wellness support for their family members.
- Through our partnership with Thrive Global, we provide training for all employees, focusing on: stress management, mindfulness, building resiliency and understanding mental health warning signs.
- We also created the Bank of America Academy for families which provides access to educational materials for children of different ages and was a helpful resource for parents who were home schooling during the pandemic.
Life Event Services:
- Our Life Event Services team provides teammates with personalised and one-to-one connections to resources such as therapy and counselling to help them navigate major life events including terminal illness, retirement, domestic violence, leaves of absence and transgender support.
- In addition, unlimited, confidential and free 24/7 phone access to a specialist for counselling is available for all employees.
- We maintain robust policies and practices that help reinforce our commitment to equal pay for equal work, including reviews with oversight from our Board and senior leaders.
Empowering Female Economic Growth
We recognise that gender equality is an issue that reaches beyond Bank of America and the broader financial services sector. That is why we are committed to championing, advancing and inspiring women outside our organisation.
We support the success of females by providing the platform to connect with capital, resources, networks and mentoring needed to help women achieve success. Across EMEA, our ongoing work to invest in women means supporting women driving strong, healthy economies.
Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM):
- We also support women in technology through our STEM Partnerships. Volunteers from our technology teams act as role models to female students by sharing their skills to teach the next generation. This includes running coding classes for Code First Girls, mentorship and tech-based learning events with STEMettes and via a long term partnership, with Ada National College for Digital Skills.
- We have an extensive skills-based volunteering programme with our not-for-profit partners, which includes partnerships such as: Smart Works, Breaking Barriers and City Year in the UK, Rethink Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland in Ireland, Jumpp, Joblinge and the Impact Hub in Germany and Simplon, Sport dans La Ville and HEC Paris in France.
Global Ambassador Programmes:
- Through our partnership with Vital Voices and through our collaboration with the Cherie Blair Foundation and Cornell University, we connect women entrepreneurs to various initiatives from mentoring to skills-building and training to help them develop business acumen. We also work with Kiva, an organisation that provides loans to women entrepreneurs in nearly 80 countries. Through these partnerships, we’ve helped more than 75,000 women advance their businesses.
We’re honoured to be recognised by organisations and media round the world for our efforts to be a great place to work.
Some of our EMEA achievements include:
- Names on the 2019, 2020 & 2021 Stonewall UK Workplace Equality index for our inclusive workplace and support for the LGBT+ community
- Ranked on the Social Mobility Employer Index for our continued focus on enabling those form less-advantaged background to success
- Awarded 3rd place on Rate My Placements list of the 2019/20 UK Top Undergraduate Employers
- Bank of America ranked 2nd in the UK’s ‘Top 100 Undergraduate Employers list’ by student reviews site 2021
- Named as one of the UK’s best places to work in the Glassdoor 2021 list
- Received Gold Standard Ministry of Defence Employers award in 2022
- Disability Confident Level 1 employer
- Investors in Diversity Ireland Bronze level achievement
In addition, we have made several commitments that help us advance and progress our progress:
- Women in Finance Charter Commitment
- Race at Work Charter
- Disability Confidence Scheme
- Valuable 500
- 10,000 Black Interns