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

Women in finance charter logo

Bank of America signed the 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. We have targeted the achievement of 33% female representation in senior management roles across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by 2025. We are making positive progress, we currently have 30% 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 and to continue to strive to be a great place to work.

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, recognizing and rewarding performance, and supporting their physical, emotional and financial wellness.

Throughout 2020 and 2021 businesses have seen unprecedented health and humanitarian challenges. Within this time we have taken a number of clear steps to support and address the needs of our diverse workforce. This includes providing enhanced benefits and resources to our employees – such as extensions to our childcare, healthcare and wellness programs – and continually building on our engagement of diverse talent through employee networks, lines of business and enhanced leadership engagement.

Also, in the Bank of America 2021 Annual Report to Shareholders, we provide 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.

Key EMEA focus:

At Bank of America, we have a long history of supporting women as they advance their careers. Our ongoing work to invest in women as they make meaningful contributions within our company and in the communities we serve, includes our focus 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.

Our commitment starts at the top

Our leadership team is held accountable for: driving positive progress in female representation, our culture, promoting inclusivity and being a great place to work.

  • The management team sets the diversity and inclusion goals of the company and takes specific actions focused on opportunities within their business area.
  • We leverage gender dashboards that 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 and Inclusion council in order to drive accountability and positive progress in female representation.

Hiring a diverse workforce

We are focused on building a strong, diverse talent pipeline and team. Through recruitment efforts and partnerships, we’re attracting some of the best and most diverse talent from around the world.

  • Our campus recruitment initiatives and partnerships are fuelling a pipeline of diverse talent to our company. We hire from more than 350 universities around the world to fill internship and full time positions across EMEA.
  • We focus on the engagement of females to our company via 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 offer a variety of opportunities including apprenticeships, insight programs, summer internships, industrial placements and full time graduate and experienced roles to provide diverse talent with a range of career opportunities.
  • We partner with many external organisations in order to attract and hire diverse talent including: Stafford Long, Audeliss, upReach, 10,000 Black Interns, myGwork, Ada College, Code First Girls, SEO, myPlusConsulting and Black Young Professionals, in addition to our Africa hiring program which has been running for 8 years. Recognising that we must focus on intersectional diverse talent as our pipeline of leaders for the future.

Creating opportunities for our team to grow and develop

We recognize how important it is for employees to develop and progress in their careers. That’s why we provide a variety of resources to help our internal workforce grow in their current roles and build new skills.

  • We provide a wide range of opportunities through our learning hub, which enables employees to create personalized learning plans tailored to their roles, unique interests and learning style.
  • In addition, we offer Manager Excellence and Personal Effectiveness pathways that provide access to a range of development topics, including inclusion learning.
  • We deliver an extensive range of programmes designed to advance and develop careers at all levels including our Diverse Leader Sponsorship program, Next Level Leadership program and our Executive Development Program.
  • At all levels, we provide current and prospective employees with visibility of available roles and cross-functional opportunities as employees consider what’s next for their careers. We have also expanded our award winning Career Path tool. Early research indicates that users of the tool are up to three times more likely to find their next internal opportunity.
  • Through our internal career site, myCareer, we offer a one-stop portal for employees career needs, 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, reverse mentoring, senior executives; conference opportunities and programmes to increase retention, engagement and the accelerated progression of women within our workforce.

Promoting an inclusive workplace

To help drive a culture of inclusion, we have developed and provide employees access to a range of programs and resources focused on building understanding and driving progress in the workplace. Expanding our perspectives is a critical aspect of how we drive a culture of inclusion, and open dialogue can help our employees gain a greater understanding and appreciation of one another.

  • Let’s Get Real…courageous conversations are a series of organize conversations and resources focused on issues impacting our communities and help open dialogue to help employees gain a greater understanding and appreciation for one another.
  • In 2021, we launched an Enterprise Manager Development Series on a global basis, including a module on being a Diversity and Inclusion champion within our organization. We have worked with over 70% of our manager population so far and engaged them on techniques of reducing bias, micro aggressions and leveraging tailored toolkits to promote an inclusive workplace.
  • We also offer Diversity and Inclusion learning pathways, programs, events and toolkits which provide employees with ongoing engagement in inclusion learning to help develop and improve cultural competency. Topics include: unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, psychological safety, upstander behaviours, racial equality, gender, disability, LGBTQ+, health and wellbeing, multi-generational bias and cultural differences

Connecting our employees

Our diversity leadership councils and employee networks encourage peer-to-peer support, engagement and development.

  • Across EMEA we have 7 Employee Networks, compromised of 30+ chapters and more than 9000 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.
  • 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 and Womens Leadership Council in Global Banking and Markets. Affinity networks help connect women to specific challenges within their subject matter areas.
  • We have several taskforces that are led by our EMEA D&I Council leaders and are made up of employees from across the EMEA region and that help identify and drive action is specific areas, including: Investing in Women, Race and Ethnicity and Social Mobility.
  • 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 Business and Finance, 30% Club, WeAdvance, Northern Power Women, Stonewall, Business in the Community and Business Disability Forum.

Supporting our employees 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 that reflect our commitment to being a great place to work.

  • We offer flexible benefits packages that employees can tailor to their own needs including: flexible holiday entitlements (UK employees can purchase additional days off), employee discounts, healthcare and insurance benefits.
  • We provide coaching and transition support prior and post leave for new and expecting parents, in addition to paid family leave (maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave) above statutory entitlement.
  • We offer back up family care and, wherever practicable, flexible working arrangements to help employees balance their work and personal lives. 
  • In 2020, we launched Thriving for Families, which provides employees with access to emotional wellness support for their family members. 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.
  • We offer personalized, one-to-one support through our Life Event Services team that provides access to resources, benefits and counselling to help employees navigate major life events including terminal illness, retirement, domestic violence, leaves of absence and transgender support.
  • 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.
  • In addition, unlimited, confidential and free 24/7 phone access to specialist for counselling is available for all employees.
  • We also provide opportunities for employees to hear from key speakers on specific well-being topics including: emotional wellbeing, fitness, medical conditions such as cancer and the menopause.
  • We are committed to equal pay for equal work. We maintain robust policies and practices that reinforce equal pay for equal work, including reviews with oversight from our Board and senior leaders. For over a decade, we have conducted rigorous processes and analyses with outside experts to examine individual employee pay before year-end compensation decisions are finalized, and we adjust compensation where appropriate.

Supporting Womens economic empowerment

We recognize 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 do this by connecting women to the capital, resources, networks and mentoring needed to help them achieve success. Across EMEA, our ongoing work to invest in women means supporting women driving strong, healthy economies. This includes our technology teams volunteering their time to support young women in STEM – from teaching young girls Python coding courses through our partnership with Code First Girls (which succeeded in its target to get 20,000 girls into coding by the end of 2020) and Stemettes to mentoring through our philanthropy partners including: The Access Project, SmartWorks and Education and Employers Inspiring the Future in the UK , Rethink Ireland in Ireland, Jumpp and the Impact Hub in Germany and Simplon, Sport dans La Ville and Forces Femmes in France.
  • Additionally, through our Global Ambassadors Program — a partnership with Vital Voices — and our collaboration with the Cherie Blair Foundation we connect women entrepreneurs to mentoring and skills-building to help them develop business acumen. We also work with Kiva, an organization that provides loans to women entrepreneurs in nearly 80 countries. Through these partnerships, we’ve helped more than 30,000 women entrepreneurs advance their businesses.

Recognition:

We’re honoured to be recognized by organisations and media round the world for our efforts to be a great place to work.

Some of our EMEA achievements include:

  • Named in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2021
  • Global Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility, Euromoney 2021
  • Names on the 2019 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
  • 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 2021
  • 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

Originally published on 02/22/2021