Bank of America – 2011 50 Out Front #4

For a banking company as large and influential as Bank of America, fresh ideas and perspectives are valued as a means of promoting ingenuity and collaboration. One way to get them is through diversity, the bank reasons. As a company, Bank of America manages diversity as it does any other key business unit. “At Bank of America, we strive to embrace the power of our people to deliver for our customers, clients and communities. Having a diverse and inclusive workplace makes us a stronger competitor and a better corporate citizen,” says Geri Thomas, chief diversity officer.

The company’s corporate global diversity & inclusion council, which is comprised of senior leaders from major business and support units, leads the diversity push. The council is charged with developing and implementing diversity initiatives supporting Bank of America’s core values and for actively promoting an inclusive work environment. The council’s team of diversity subject-matter experts is located worldwide, promoting and supporting diversity and inclusion efforts with corporate, line of business, regional, associate groups, and other partners. Two distinct initiatives that serve to spark diversity within Bank of America are associate affinity groups and Bank of America community volunteers. Affinity groups are employee groups that share a common interest, meeting periodically to network, mentor, and encourage each other’s development and success. This includes the Asian Leadership Network, Black Professional Group, Disability Affinity Group, Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement, LEAD for Women, Military Support Affinity Group, the LGBT Pride Resource Group, Native American Professional Network, Multicultural Leadership Network and the Parents and Careers Network (Asia Pacific region only). The community volunteers, the bank’s organization of current and retired employees, has an inclusive diversity network.

Bank of America also conducts robust campus recruitment events at top business schools to attract MBA talent and offers summer internships for first-year MBA students across the entire organization; part of its goal to build a strong pipeline of diverse candidates to hire, retain and develop as executives. Bank of America seeks to be a leader in supporting diversity and appreciates recognition it receives for progressive workplace practices and initiatives to promote inclusion.

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