3 Ways to Make DEI Earnings in 2021
It’s hard to think of an issue that has become such a powerful driver of the cultural evolution of financial services companies as diversity, equity and inclusion. The passion and energy of executives to make meaningful change is real, and they are making good progress on many aspects of DCI. However, there is still a lot of work to be done – a determined and long-term commitment to DCI is of crucial importance to making a lasting difference in this industry.
DCI’s strategy is the foundation for promoting an inclusive corporate culture that meets the expectations of employees, customers and shareholders. The only way to do this is to build teams of diverse backgrounds, thoughts and beliefs in an environment of respect, all leading to more effective collaboration and better business results.
BAI has made a significant commitment to helping financial services leaders better understand DCI issues by providing data, resources and information, and by encouraging collaboration across the industry. We have learned a lot about the issues through our research and working with executives from over 30 major banks, as well as many thought leaders and policy experts who are focused on making more progress on the issue. DEI.
1. Included means inclusive: Think broadly in 2021
While concentration works well in some situations, when it comes to DCI, the most impactful policy initiatives include a very broad definition of diversity: ethnicity, race, gender, age, geography, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, veterans and active military. , political beliefs, people with disabilities and others. DCI is not just about this group or group – it is essential to create a culture that embraces all types of differences.
What we know about diversity is that different people have different views, different concerns, and different expectations. That’s the point. Leaders who broadly define diversity must understand and embrace the unique perspectives of diverse segments. Their ability to listen, understand and act effectively will drive or hold back their progress.
2. Mobilize to maximize: the C-suite cannot do this alone
DCI is not a project to be delegated to a department or a committee. Involvement and commitment to DCI’s goals is needed across the organization, starting at the top, but at all levels. If a culture is truly inclusive, DCI becomes a meaningful goal across the company, from the board of directors and senior management to new entry-level hires. Anyone can tell the difference.
The organization’s policies have a direct and different impact on its employees at all levels. To energize DCI within their financial institution, leaders need to be purposeful and creative in their support, especially to women who appear to have been hit hardest by the pandemic. A key priority in 2021 will be creating new ways of working for women, which will benefit the organization, the community and the economy in general.
3. Set Goals and Track Progress: You Find What You Measure
Most financial services companies are driven by analytics and led by goal-oriented executives who regularly use data and benchmarking to manage risk and make decisions on strategic directions, priorities and investments. It’s the way they do business, and DEI shouldn’t be any different. One of the most important steps an organization can take is to set goals with clear parameters to measure and report on progress.
It is so important in 2021 to continue to demonstrate the passionate commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that financial services companies have had this year. Building on progress in 2020, the greatest impact will be created by three key priorities: defining diversity in very broad terms, engaging your entire organization, and establishing metrics to measure your progress and promote transparency in it. your entire organization.
We all hope 2021 will be a better year in many ways. These are the steps that can make 2021 a year of even greater DCI achievement in the financial services industry.
Additional DEI Information from Industry Leaders
“As we turn our DCI commitments into action, we believe it is essential to focus our efforts on our colleagues, customers and the communities we serve. To make steady progress in these areas, priorities should include hiring, developing, advancing and retaining a diverse workforce; ensure that products and services are inclusive for all current and potential customers; and investing in diverse communities to help cultivate economic prosperity. “
– Fellicia Foster, Head of Inclusion and Diversity in the United States, BMO Harris Bank
“The most effective way to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion is to treat people on the basis of characteristics that unite them rather than divide them. For example, banks that serve active military and veteran communities know that a powerful unifying characteristic of these customers is service to our nation. Banks that understand and recognize the sacrifices that have been made are better able to meet the different and unique needs of military customers. “
– Steven J. Lepper, Major General, USAF (ret.), President and CEO, Association of Military Banks of America
“Middle managers are vitally important to your ability to make substantial progress in DCI because they provide such a valuable link between managers and entry-level personnel. Leverage the connections they have, define their roles, prepare them with training, and clarify their accountability. They can become the most influential role models on your team. “
– Diane T. Ashley, CEO, DTA Diversity matters; former director of diversity, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
“Financial services executives need to take deliberate action focused on FDI and gender equality, including new approaches that allow more choice about where, when and how women work. Different work structures can offer tangible benefits that help women juggle family and work responsibilities. A critical step is to establish metrics that help measure progress on gender equity while increasing transparency of results. “
– Teresa tanner, CEO and Founder, Reserve Squad; Former Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fifth Third Bank
“You get what you measure and the IED measurements that move the needle have to be tracked over time. This provides a clear view of progress made or actions that are not having the desired effect. This is the only way to have actionable data so you can make the best decisions to position your organization to meet your DEI goals. “
– Karl Dahlgren, Managing Director, Research, BAI