At Huntington, inclusion (being open to all) is one of seven core values that guide Huntington National Bank in doing the right thing. So when Jeanetta Darno, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, joined Huntington in 2014, she had a great foundation upon which to build.
“While diversity and inclusion programs have been in place for years at Huntington, I was brought in to accelerate the momentum and further the excellence of the company’s inclusion initiative,” said Darno.
With the diversity and inclusion strategy now solidly in motion and the executive leadership team and CEO Steve Steinour embracing the initiative, Jeanetta is confident in the execution and impact of the four pillars of the strategy. They focus on the Workplace, Workforce, Community and Supplier Diversity. Focusing on the Workplace means fostering an inclusive and engaging culture to retain talent and maximize potential. By comparison, the pillar Workforce addresses the need to build a diverse group of workers to meet the rising expectations of customers. The Community focus is shaped by empowering colleagues to make a difference in their lives and with the customers and communities where they live and work, while Supplier Diversity drives economic inclusion in Huntington’s supply chain across the communities in which it does business.
“As one of our core values, inclusion is at the foundation of our company and represented in everything that we do. With Jeanetta at the helm of our diversity and inclusion strategy, we are making enormous strides toward maximizing an inclusive environment for all of our customers, colleagues, shareholders and communities,” Steinour said.
“With the continued support of Huntington’s leadership, including the Board of Directors, we are making good progress,” Darno said. “While we challenge ourselves to always do more, we also pause to celebrate milestones. We applaud our executive leadership team, 100% of whom have completed diversity and inclusion training. Huntington also secured a 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Moreover, we met our goal of 15% total spend with diverse companies and 14% of our colleagues participating in Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Inclusion Councils.”
Huntington’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Inclusion Councils have had the most far-reaching impact on creating an inclusive workplace. The company has 10 BRGs and five Inclusion Councils across its markets. As an example, through the work of the Military Business Resource Group, Huntington partnered with local businesses to offer a class to veterans focusing on career strategies for returning to civilian life. One of the company’s largest Inclusion Councils hosts a professional development expo for colleagues. Designed to encourage hiring from within, the expo provides an opportunity to network and learn about open positions. The success of the BRGs and Inclusion Councils, in part, can be attributed to the support of bank leaders, many of whom are sponsors and advocates for their respective groups as well as conduits to other senior leaders. In fact, once a year, each BRG has a one-on-one meeting with Huntington’s CEO.
Huntington has developed standards of performance for all colleagues that clearly articulate the company’s vision and expectations around inclusion. By building upon the company’s core values and cascading supportive tools throughout the organization, Huntington aims to drive cultural transformation through on-the-job experiences.
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