Commitment to Latinas in Corporate America
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
Employee Resource Groups, leadership and development programs, and partnering with Hispanic organizations throughout the country are a few examples of ways to help build a pipeline of talented Latina executives. The corporate companies listed – Bank of America, Accenture, and New York Life – are only a few of the many companies hiring, nurturing, and retaining talent so they can reach the executive ranks.
Bank of America’s commitment to diversity starts at the top with its Board of Directors, including a Latina Board member, Monica Lozano, and Chairman & CEO Brian Moynihan. The bank’s management team sets the Diversity & Inclusion goals of the company. Each management team member has action-oriented diversity targets. These targets are subject to the company’s quarterly business review process, used as part of talent planning and included in scorecards reviewed by the Board of Directors. Bank of America has built robust analytics and put processes in place at all levels of the company to drive progress and accountability to ensure the company is a reflection of the diverse communities it serves.
In addition, Bank of America’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council – which is led by Moynihan – promotes diversity goal setting, which is embedded in the company’s performance management process and occurs at all levels of the company. Bank of America is committed to building a strong, diverse talent pipeline of future leaders. Through recruitment efforts and partnerships, Bank of America is attracting some of the best and most diverse talent from around the world. The bank’s robust talent planning program identifies key leaders and roles, and works to develop and prepare leaders for upcoming business needs. Given the diverse, global nature of its business and their customers, diversity is a key factor in the talent planning process.
Bank of America offers a range of development programs for women and diverse employees and developing leaders, some of which include: – Women’s Executive Development Program: Leverages the faculty of Columbia Business School and high-caliber speakers to engage, develop, retain and support the career advancement of high potential talent. The program includes assessments, virtual development sessions, executive sponsorship and local market engagement opportunities.
– Women’s Next Level Leadership Program: Provides strategies and tactics to help multicultural women in progressing their careers through an eight-month virtual development experience.
– Diverse Leader Sponsorship Program: Pairs diverse rising talent with senior leader sponsors to increase the visibility and representation of diverse talent. The program includes development sessions, executive sponsorship and engagement opportunities.
– Global Women’s Conference: Engages women leaders around how to thrive in their careers at Bank of America and highlight the company’s investment in their development and advancement. – Multicultural Women Ready to Lead Workshop: Provides strategies and tactics to help multicultural women progress in their careers. Additionally, the bank has Employee Networks, as well as leadership councils, focused on developing leadership skills, building ties with local communities and advancing diversity recruitment, some of which include: – Hispanic-Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement (HOLA) – A 17,000 strong network that offers opportunities to develop leadership skills, engage with local communities and grow professionally. – Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) for Women: The bank’s largest employee network, with more than 32,000 members. The network promotes professional interactions that help attract, develop, retain and advance female professionals. – Hispanic-Latino Executive Council (HLEC): Comprised of more than 200 senior executives across the company who serve as advisors and champions of efforts to serve Hispanic-Latino clients, communities and employees. – The Investing in Women Leadership Council: Comprised of senior executives across the company who serve as advisors and champions of Bank of America’s efforts working closely with the lines of business, the D&I organization and other women-focused networks to maximize impact.
“Accenture’s commitment to our more than 50,000 U.S. people and to accelerating equality for all has never been more relevant than it is today – to drive our innovation agenda and act as responsible business leaders,” shares Jimmy Etheredge, CEO of Accenture. “It enables us to attract, develop, inspire and reward top talent. And it creates an environment that unleashes innovation, allows our people to perform at their very best and underpins a culture in which everyone feels they have an equal opportunity to belong and build a career.”
For Accenture this commitment starts at the top with the executive chairman, chief executive officer and Board. Leaders at all levels are expected to help create and sustain a culture of equality where everyone can advance and thrive. Accenture’s areas of focus for diversity include gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ, religion, persons with disabilities and cross-cultural diversity among others. Accenture’s public goals to advance a diverse workforce include a commitment to: – Achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 (equally 50 percent women and 50 percent men for those whose gender is binary) and grow the percentage of women managing directors to 25 percent by 2020 globally. – Increase the representation of African American and Black people from 9% to 12%; and the representation of Hispanic American and Latinx people from 9.5% to 13%—in each case, this is an approximate 60% increase in the number of their people. – More than double the number of African American and Black and Hispanic American and Latinx managing directors. This will be an increase in the representation of African American and Black managing directors from 2.8% to 4.4% and of Hispanic American and Latinx managing directors from 3.5% to 4.7%. Accenture’s intentional approach to position Hispanic American women for success includes a myriad of flagship learning and development programs including: – Drive – a rigorous 8-month learning journey for consultants where participants receive tangible resources and actionable coaching on how to grow a successful career at Accenture. It is supplemented with four months of 1:1 coaching from an outside career coaching partner. – EXCEL – this interactive and engaging 9-month learning program for diverse senior managers kicks off with a 2-day in-person workshop. It is designed to develop and advance Accenture’s diverse future leaders through practical skill-building, prescribed self-development activities, networking opportunities and a clear understanding of career progression opportunities at Accenture. – Insight – an inspiring and collaborative 9-month learning series focused on Accenture’s senior manager women on the cusp of promotion with the aim of equipping them with a clear understanding of the journey to managing director. – LGBTQ Leaders Learning – an intensive 2-day in-person course for the LGBTQ team members and allies, inclusive of all gender identities and ethnic backgrounds, is designed to provide skills and knowledge to succeed as authentic leaders and role models by equipping participants with the tools to build a robust network and provide leadership support to develop and grow within the organization. Additionally, Accenture sponsors senior Hispanic American women to be part of the HITEC Leadership Program. As well as progressing the success of Hispanic Americans in IT the participants benefit from leadership development opportunities and expand their external professional network.
As part of New York Life’s strategic expansion into the Latino community, there is a specific focus to increase the number of Latina financial professionals and corporate employees (both Latina and Latino).
“New York Life could not have achieved the success we enjoy today were it not for our richly diverse corporate culture. Rather than expect employees and agents to adapt themselves to a single way of doing business, everyone is encouraged to bring their own cultural and intellectual perspectives to the table,” shares Ted Mathas, CEO, New York Life. “Nor do we pursue a one-size-fits-all approach in the marketplace; our culturally sensitive outreach to customers has established New York Life as The Company of the Community” in neighborhoods that reflect the changing face of America. Little wonder that we consider our commitment to diversity to be a fundamental strategic strength.”
One of the ways the company identifies and engages people of color including Latinas is to recruit and connect with this market through strategic partnerships with external organizations including the Association of Latino Professionals for America, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Toigo Foundation, Financial Women’s Association and Professional Diversity Network.
Last year the company recruited nearly 1,000 Latino Market agents and have protected over 70,000 lives in the Latino community. In addition to protecting lives, New York Life’s Latino Market agents are bringing financial planning awareness to their communities through the Juntos campaign. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the importance of financial planning using real-life stories that are common in the Latino community. More than 2000 Latino New York Life agents around the country work directly with their local communities providing educational seminars and individual consultations helping Latinos plan for their future financial security. On the corporate side, there is a focus on the development of Latina corporate professionals through significant leadership development programs that advance personal and professional development. This includes Amplify, which is an intensive 8-month leadership development program for people of color that includes five multi-day modules, various networking opportunities with numerous senior leaders, 1-1 coaching throughout the course of the program, a business project, executive mentors for each participant, and inclusive leadership training for managers of the participants. New York Life’s in-house leadership development programs are supplemented with external offerings for Latinas, such as the Women Unlimited LEAD program, a 12-month development program that focuses on helping women transition from managing to leading and prepares participants to take on more strategic roles and The Financial Women’s Association’s Pacesetters program that offers the opportunity for participants to focus on needs critical to their leadership development and career advancement.