Investing in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives that work could be the difference between outperforming your competitors and falling to the wayside. In fact, research shows that two-thirds of job applicants use diversity as a major deciding factor when choosing and accepting job offers.
As helpful as checklists and tips can be, we recognize that excellent examples of corporate cultures to emulate are just as important. Below we'll share strategies and programs leading companies are doing to engage diverse job seekers successfully and reflect a genuinely inclusive culture and workplace. While there are plenty of companies doing diversity right, these three examples stood out for their focus on employee engagement.
D&I In Action: 3 Examples from Leading Companies
Bank of America
Bank of America has shown a long-standing commitment to D&I. In winning the 2018 award for World’s Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion from Euromoney, Bank of America is certainly among the global leaders in this area. Its support programs for female employees and clients are exhaustive – from virtual professional development sessions for multicultural women, to its Global Women’s Conference and its Women in Wealth series.
Bank of America’s Diversity & Inclusion Forums provide female and ethnically diverse first year and sophomore college students with the opportunity to learn about the finance industry, dive deep into specific business areas, develop relationships with professionals and prepare for the 2020 application and interview process.
This commitment to developing an early pipeline of candidates and advancing females in the workplace is evident in the company’s diversity numbers. More than 50% of its global workforce, over 40% of its global management team, and more than 30% of its board of directors are female.
BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Renewal for Sustainable Change (DIR) is a North American strategy to build an inclusive work environment that drives employee, customer, and business goals across the organization. The initiative focuses on transforming BMO’s senior leadership ranks, talent pipeline, and organizational culture through innovative diversity and inclusion strategies.
Here are some of BMO Financial Group’s innovative diversity and inclusion strategies:
- BMO’s Talent Advisors Network (TAN) supports talent development by partnering with business leaders to create diverse succession plans, assess talent, identify scenarios where blind spots may be influencing talent decisions, and work directly with diverse talent providing one-on-one coaching.
- They implemented a formal enterprise sponsorship program where senior bank leaders are nominated and paired with talented, diverse protégés who have the potential to assume more senior roles.
- Enterprise Women’s Forum: This strategy focuses on women customers and entrepreneurs, providing strategic guidance and direction to help them manage their wealth, pursue successful careers, and achieve their own financial well-being.
These D&I initiatives have helped BMO achieve important results. Most notably, between 2012 and 2016, the bank met its five-year goal of 40% women’s representation among senior leaders in the United States and Canada, with women in these roles increasing from 33% to 40.1% and women of color and visible minority women increasing from 4.4% to 6.5%.
With over 100,000 employees worldwide, Schneider-Electric is one of the world's major global power system companies. The company shunned a long-held policy of repatriating US and French Nationals to run all its business branches, and instead adapted to the local environments, making inclusion a core strategy of its operations.
Today, it couples global tactics and business plans with local decision-making. This focus on diversity has enabled the company to grow by 6.2% in Q1, with its Asia-Pacific arm growing by 14%, and its digital power management growing in leaps and bounds.
While these three examples are far from comprehensive, they are a great start for anyone in need of inspiration. These companies are paving the way for innovative ways to promote both diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and are reaping the benefits from their efforts.
D&I & Financial Success
Encouraging diversity and inclusion is shown to deliver measurable effects on financial success and growth indices, and is proven to provide an overall competitive edge. Here are some interesting statistics illustrating the virtuous relationship between diversity and financial performance:
- Companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. (McKinsey, 2017)
- Venture-capital firms that “increased their proportion of female partner hires by 10% saw, on average, a 1.5% spike in overall fund returns each year and had 9.7% more profitable exits.” (Harvard Business Review)
- Companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue that was 19% higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity—45% of total revenue versus just 26%. (Boston Consulting Group)
A strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your organization attract the best talent and drive results. Looking for more inspiration?
We provide 6 recommendations on how to implement a successful diversity and inclusion program in our free eBook "How to Address the Diversity Problem in Finance."