His View: Working Together in Support of Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity
By Brian Thomas Moynihan, Chairman & CEO, Bank of America
The healthcare and economic crisis caused by the pandemic has created a more urgent need for individuals, communities and companies to come together and drive positive change. While we have made great progress as a country in so many areas of equality and opportunity, there is more we must do. All people should be treated with respect, and live free from discrimination. At Bank of America, we enable you to come to work, to bring who you are to work, and to be as successful as you want to be without regard to your race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic. This is core to who we are as a company and how we drive Responsible Growth.
I chair our company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council, and have throughout my tenure as CEO. The council includes leaders from across our company and is a governing body that oversees how we execute our diversity and inclusion strategy. We work to ensure diverse representation at all levels of our company, including a Board of Directors and management team that are nearly 50% diverse. Within the top three levels of our company, more than 40% are women and nearly 20% are people of color. And, in our 2019 class of full-time campus new hires, 45% were women and nearly 55% were people of color, including 15% who were Hispanic-Latino. In addition, on our board of directors we’re fortunate to benefit from the guidance and expertise of Monica Lozano, whose leadership has been acknowledged on Latino Leaders’ list of the nation’s most outstanding Hispanic Fortune 500 directors.
One of the core tenets of Responsible Growth is that it be sustainable. A key aspect of sustainability is sharing success with the communities we serve. To address the need for greater racial equality and economic opportunity where the gaps have been exacerbated by the global pandemic, we are underway with a $1 billion, four-year initiative to create opportunity for people and communities of color in health and healthcare, jobs/reskilling, support to small businesses, and affordable housing. We already are the leading lender to small business in the United States, but in this and the other priority areas in our initiative, our focus on providing opportunity for Black and Hispanic-Latino business and individuals is just the latest in many ways we are investing in today and in the future. We’re proud to serve 9.5 million Hispanic-Latino individuals and over 1 million business owners. We also provide support to many organizations that predominantly serve the Hispanic-Latino community, and we maintain longstanding partnerships with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and UnidosUS, among others.
Sharing the diversity of perspectives on these important issues is another way we create an inclusive environment inside and outside our company. Open dialogue helps each of us gain a greater understanding and appreciation for one another, and deepen our understanding of our unique histories and differences. Conversations like this happen every day across our company, including through our 11 employee networks with more than 180,000 memberships. This includes our Hispanic-Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement (HOLA), comprised of more than 16,000 Hispanic-Latino teammates. This year, we also announced a $25 million grant to assist in the launch of a new Smithsonian Institution program to organize discussions across the U.S. on how Americans understand, experience and confront race, its impact on communities and how that impact is shaping our future. We kicked this off with a discussion for our teammates in which I was joined by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, National Urban League President CEO Marc Morial and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III. We encourage other companies to offer their own support to the Smithsonian program and help create a national platform.
On behalf of all of my 210,000+ teammates, thank you very much for the honor of being your 2020 Company of the Year.