Moving the needle

August 01, 2017 | GET MORE : Ethics

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Greg Cunningham reflects on his first year leading diversity and inclusion at U.S. Bank, a role that was new to the company.

At U.S. Bank, diversity and inclusion are defining characteristics of our company and culture.

A year ago, they also became my full time job when we established a companywide diversity and inclusion office. However, with "We draw strength from diversity" as one of the five core values that serve as a U.S. Banker's moral compass, the responsibility to drive it forward lies with all 73,000 of us. 

One year in, as we reflect on our company's commitment to our core value, we can take pride in a year of action:

  • Our employees scored diversity and inclusion at U.S. Bank in the top 10 percent for engagement among all companies surveyed by IBM Kenexa. We believe our business resource groups – which connect employees who have similar backgrounds, experiences or interests and their supporters – are a significant driver of engagement. Today, more than 13,000 employees – nearly one in five – participate in a BRG.
  • We went all in on our belief that diversity and inclusion is a business imperative, kicking off a multimillion dollar multicultural marketing campaign after our research found that more than 90 percent of new population growth in our retail footprint will be multicultural.
  • We invested in our communities by spending a record $400 million with diverse suppliers and committing $3.2 billion toward community development projects that help those in need – the latter funding projects such as the new Ferguson Community Empowerment Center on the site of the QuikTrip that burned down in the unrest after Michael Brown was killed in 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • With 174 of our Fortune 500 peers, we signed the CEO Pledge for diversity and inclusion, a commitment to collectively drive diversity in business through three core principles: creating a safe space for courageous conversations, expanding education and training, and sharing best practices with each other. To take immediate action on our pledge, this month we're rolling out new training focused on cultural identity with additional training to come throughout 2018. 
  • Because of all the above, others have taken notice. The HRC named us a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality for the 10th straight year. We scored in the top third of S&P 100 companies in the Calvert Diversity Index, achieving a score of 90 out of 100. And Deloitte recognized us as one of only 29 companies on the Fortune 500 with notable board diversity.  

We've made a great deal of progress, yet, our journey continues. In the year to come, we need to continue to increase our overall workforce diversity and elevate more women and professionals of color in our management ranks. 

Guided by our core value, we'll take on the task 73,000 strong.

Greg Cunningham is vice president and head of diversity and inclusion at U.S. Bank.