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Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

Women’s Leadership Series 2020: Investing in Women is Good Business

Investing in women makes good business sense because diverse and inclusive workplaces are essential in meeting the needs of today’s diverse customers, clients and communities. Women play an increasingly important role in helping advance the global economy, with women owning 37% of all businesses worldwide.

Bank of America recognizes the significant role women play in advancing thriving economies. It’s why we continue to invest every day in helping women make meaningful contributions within the company and in their communities.

A snapshot of our current employee demographics shows that women make up more than 50% of Bank of America’s global workforce, nearly 45% of the global management team, more than 40% of our managers and 35% of board of directors – exceeding industry benchmarks for representation.

So how did we get here? By bringing talented women to our company, investing in their career growth, and supporting the economic empowerment of women everywhere.

For example, the bank partners with more than 200 colleges and universities around the world to recruit diverse talent, and our most recent summer intern class was 47% female. The bank also has programs designed specifically to support the retention and career development of female employees such as the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development) for Women employee network, which is more than 31,000 members strong.

The bank also includes employees in its annual Global Women’s Conference; Women’s Executive Development Program and the Women’s Next Level Leadership Program, among other professional development opportunities to help foster female talent in the bank.

But an effective diversity and inclusion program goes beyond recruitment and development and includes progressive workplace policies and benefits so employees feel supported in managing responsibilities at work and at home. For example, the bank offers employees 16 weeks paid parental leave for maternity, paternity and adoption leave. Parents can also receive reimbursement of up to $240 per month, per child for eligible child-care expenses. Employees caring for aging parents can take advantage of our company’s adult care services program offering resources, support and expertise to help manage these responsibilities.

As a leader in financial services, Bank of America also supports women entrepreneurs with capital and resources to help them grow their businesses:

We partner with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program to provide access to affordable loans to grow their business.

Through the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell, we are providing 20,000 women entrepreneurs with free, online learning to help advance their businesses.

The Global Ambassadors Program connects women leaders of social enterprises and small businesses to mentoring to help them hone their skills and realize their economic potential.

We work with the Cherie Blair Foundation on its Mentoring Women in Business Programme to connect women entrepreneurs around the world to online mentoring; more than 500 Bank of America employees have participated as mentors. 

The bank is lead sponsor of the National Women’s Business Conference hosted by the National Association of Women Business

Owners, working to propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power.

Our partnership with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women on its Peace Through Business program helps women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan and Rwanda improve their businesses through financial management and mentoring.

The bank works with Paradigm for Parity, an organization committed to achieving gender parity across all levels of corporate leadership.

With Girls Who Code, the bank offers a summer immersion program for high school-aged girls to learn skills in digital technology and robotics and gain exposure to women engineers and entrepreneurs at the bank.

We’re proud of these investments, which have been noticed by Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies and Bloomberg’s annual Financial Services Gender-Equality Index. The bank was also named 2019 Catalyst Award winner for support of women in the workplace; 2019 Top Company for Women Technologists by AnitaB.org; and World’s Best Bank for Diversity & Inclusion by Euromoney magazine.

While the recognition underscores our commitment to a diverse workforce, the achievements directly reflect the dedication, effort and drive to make a positive and lasting impact on our company, and communities.

Grace Kangdani is Business Banking Market Manager for Bank of America.

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