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BAI Expands Programs to Drive Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action in Financial Services Organizations

Jun 11, 2020 / Press Release

CHICAGO – June 10, 2020BAI, a nonprofit independent organization that delivers the financial services industry’s most actionable insights, has announced the expansion of its programs to help financial services leaders better understand diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues, moving these efforts forward in a more tangible and meaningful way. As financial services leaders nationwide take additional actions to ensure they build diverse, equitable organizations and communities, BAI’s DEI programs will provide the data, resources and insights needed to complement those strategies and encourage collaboration across the industry.

“BAI believes that fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace culture is critical for financial services organizations to meet employee, customer and shareholder expectations,” said Debbie Bianucci, BAI’s president and CEO. “Building teams with diverse backgrounds, thoughts and beliefs in an environment of respect leads to better collaboration and business results.  And trust and respect cannot be built without listening, understanding and empathizing with uncomfortable social injustices and discrimination.”

BAI’s DEI commitment to action incorporates industry research, thought leadership content, training courseware and peer events that provide leaders with the actionable insights and resources needed to strategically build and foster more diverse and inclusive workplaces. As part of this industry focus, the BAI Banking Outlook market research program and other surveys will deliver timely, relevant information on key diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. Financial services leaders can leverage this information to enhance hiring strategies, better engage associates and empower their organizations to make strong long-term strategic plans. The latest BAI Banking Outlook report will be available across multiple digital platforms in July and August 2020.

To help financial services leaders understand how their diversity initiatives are performing relative to their peers, the BAI Talent Management Benchmarking program has been enhanced with additional diversity-related metrics and will continue to expand to provide essential data and insights for leaders. Additionally, BAI is connecting senior executives across the industry with its newest BAI Executive Roundtable, the BAI Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Executive Roundtable. Diane T. Ashley, former founding Chief Diversity Officer and OMWI Director, New York Federal Reserve Bank and CEO of DTA Diversity Counts, will facilitate the roundtable. Ashley also helped to launch key diversity initiatives at Citigroup. This unique and powerful program creates an environment where Chief Diversity Officers and other senior-level financial services leaders responsible for DEI can openly discuss key issues and challenges, sharing insights and collaborating to collectively drive positive change.

“The need for open and meaningful DEI dialogue in the industry is important right now. And there’s tremendous synergy in bringing leaders across the industry together to share opportunities and challenges. BAI is providing a much needed and highly valuable forum for financial services leaders to exchange best practices in a safe and trusted environment. Our collaborative efforts will help to develop actionable solutions,” Ashley said.

Another important component to BAI’s commitment to DEI is thought leadership delivered in various BAI Banking Strategies channels, including articles, webinars, podcasts, and reports.  This original and curated digital content focuses on key issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in financial services, including best practices, tools, and resources to help leaders stay on top of the latest issues and trends as they build and execute strategic initiatives.

As a leading resource for online compliance training, BAI’s courseware has consistently included a number of learning modules dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the importance of valuing differences. In addition, in September 2019, BAI added a course on Diversity and Innovation to its Leadership Innovation Library, highlighting the importance of diversity as financial services leaders build a culture of innovation within their organizations.

“Words are meaningless without action, and BAI’s DEI programs will help leaders move their DEI efforts forward and accelerate important change in their organizations, in our industry and in our communities,” Bianucci said. “BAI will continue to work closely with financial services leaders to provide powerful tools, trusted information and actionable insights that help drive positive change and move the industry forward as a more diverse and inclusive environment where all voices are represented and heard.”

About BAI

As a nonprofit, independent organization, BAI has delivered the financial services industry’s most actionable insights for more than 95 years, enabling leaders to make smart business decisions every day. We’re passionate about the trusted information and powerful tools that provide leaders with the clarity and confidence needed to drive positive change and move the financial services industry forward. That’s why we provide in-depth, proprietary research to 30 of the top 50 banks and numerous others, support more than 2,000 financial services organizations with compliance and professional development training, provide trusted, relevant thought leadership through BAI Banking Strategies reports, podcasts and webinars, and offer specialized events and programs. For more information, visit bai.org.