Category: Diversity & Inclusion, Diversity and Inclusion Champions, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
Hear from Bank of America’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, EMEA, Katy Ingle
What prompted you to specifically go into and lead Diversity & Inclusion at Bank of America, after long previous experience in Recruitment?
"I have always had some connectivity to diversity and inclusion in my recruitment experience. Previously I was head of Junior Talent for EMEA for the bank and a key focus in that role was how we create a strong pipeline of diverse talent into our programs - internships, graduate and apprenticeship roles. We hire from more than 600 universities around the world, so the attraction strategy was fundamental to building that strong pipeline of diverse talent for the organisation.
I also had personal motivation to enter the world of diversity and inclusion, I was the first in my family to go to university and had very few people around me who were able to provide career advice. It was by luck that I found a mentor who gave me great advice and who really championed my education in the early days which helped lead me here. So for me, I see the importance of both mentors and role models to support under-represented groups in the workforce and to inspire young people.
These days, I am a mum of two and therefore, I also have further perspectives as a working mum and the importance of creating a workplace which allows working parents to thrive. If I can do something to drive progress and change so that when my daughter enters the discussion on careers she can see and learn from role models and fully understand the opportunities available to her, then I feel like I will have played a role in paving the way for the future generations."
Can you share an experience you are most proud of as the Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Bank of America?
"The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for so many, due to COVID and also the social injustice we have seen around the world. One proud moment in 2020 was being part of Bank of America’s stance in light of the injustice we saw around George Floyd and the impact we saw globally. Internally we took several steps to support our employees and externally we initially announced a $1billion 4 year commitment to drive economic opportunity and racial equality. We later increased that to $1.25 billion and a 5-year commitment.
Being part of an organisation that makes these kind of investments makes me incredibly proud, and I think really helps to drive change and responsibility within the financial services industry.
Also, in my role I’m fortunate to meet incredibly passionate people who care about diversity, inclusion and social justice. Internally we celebrate them every year through our global diversity and inclusion awards, with nominations from around the world."
How can you involve Bank of America employees and let everyone contribute to creating a more equal and diverse workplace?
"At Bank of America we have 11 employee networks with over 250 chapters and 180,000 members globally. That is a significant amount of people to engage with and hear their voices. Not only do our networks drive engagement, development and progress across different strands of diversity for our employees but they are also advocates, allies and champions for each other and for our communities.
We spend allot of time with our employee networks, with working groups in specific areas really taking time to understand perspectives, hear thoughts and feedback and identifying the solutions we need to drive to match the needs of our workforce. Engaging with employees from different backgrounds is fundamental in making sure we create that great place to work where everyone feels they can bring their whole self. And its key to our strategy of responsible growth and creating an organisation that matches the clients and communities that we work with."
Furthermore, do you have plans for future initiatives where Bank of America is going to be at the forefront of the push for greater Diversity & Inclusion, not only within the bank, but in the Financial Industry as whole?
"We’ve made some significant investments and commitments in the last 12 months. As I mentioned, in 2020, our CEO Brian Moynihan pledged a $1billion dollar 4-year investment to drive economic opportunity and racial equality. Earlier this year we increased that to $1.25 billion and a five-year commitment. This effort continues to accelerate work we already had underway, with a focus on health, jobs, small business and affordable housing. We have announced several areas of focus in this space already and we are continuing to work on that and more in the coming months.
Here are some further insights into a couple of the key areas we are working on:
- This week we announced a new initiative with a UK Youth Charity called Impetus on its leadership academy with the aim of offering development training to emerging leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds working in the UK youth sector. Across UK charities just 7% of leadership positions are held by people from ethnic minority backgrounds and urgent action is needed to improve representation at senior levels across the sector. The Impetus Leadership Academy aims to nurture the development of future leaders and their organisations, to contribute to the national conversation on issues facing young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK.
- We have a long-standing partnership with Code First: Girls (since 2016) who have become the largest provider of free coding courses for women in the UK, having delivered over £20 million worth of free technology education and teaching three times as many women to code as the entire UK university undergraduate system. Our team here partner with Code First: Girls to inspire women into coding, to mentor and teach women on these courses.
- We also have partnerships in the Social Mobility space For many years we have worked with upReach who support students from less advantaged backgrounds to secure top jobs."
Is Bank of America planning on launching more programmes for candidates from diverse backgrounds?
"We already work with a selection of partners to bring programmes for candidates from diverse backgrounds. Including, SEO, upReach, Code First: Girls, we also have a program to actively hire talent from Africa which has been running since 2013. We regularly review our attraction strategy to make sure it provides the talent pipeline that we need, whether that is which universities we are targeting, the partnerships we enter into or our key messaging to potential employees.
One new initiative that we are working on right now is our partnership with 10,000 black interns. That an initiative which aims to transform the horizons and prospects of young black people in the UK by providing paid work experience. So we are currently planning this and look forward to welcoming our first cohort in 2022."