Investing in Women’s Success at Every Level Investing in Women’s Success at Every Level

At Bank of America, it’s built into our values that we realize the power of our people. One very important way that we demonstrate that value is our efforts to recruit, develop, retain and promote women. We do so through rigorous talent and succession planning, performance management and individual development programs in place at all levels of the company.

It’s because of these efforts that women are able to maximize their potential and advance their businesses and careers, as evidenced by these statistics:

  • 54% of our global population is female.
  • 40% of our management team is female and our board of directors is also one of the most diverse in the financial services industry.

As head of both Executive and Diversity recruiting at Bank of America, these are points that I’m proud to share when trying to attract top female talent to the company.

Starting with recruiting, as I mentioned, a key component of my role is to attract diverse talent to the company. One of the ways we do that is through our Women’s Undergraduate Finance Leadership Summit, a program that helps us identify and engage top undergraduate female talent in their freshman and sophomore years.  These college students  gain early exposure to investment banking, and sales and trading through summer internship and career opportunities and is complemented by regular conference calls on relevant professional development topics.  We also have a very successful summer internship programs for students completing their junior year or first year of graduate school, which has become a critical pipeline in our efforts to attract top female talent, with women currently representing over half of our interns globally.

During my time at Bank of America, it’s been my pleasure to have played a role in developing our Women’s Leadership program and Returning Talent program, both which help us recruit and advance female talent. Our Women’s Leadership program launched in 2010 in partnership with the Columbia Business School and the Center for Talent Innovation. Designed to equip mid-level women leaders with essential management and leadership skills, the program has helped us connect with nearly 350 women from around the world. The program has received high survey marks from participants, and their higher promotion rates, nearly seven times that of their peers, have validated the program’s success.

In April, we launched our Returning Talent program in New York. The program was created as a way to get back in touch with individuals who voluntarily left the workplace to care for their family, but are now ready to get back to work. Workshops covered a myriad of topics including business trends, resume writing, interviewing skills, how to network and, most importantly, how to manage work and family life.  As a result, we had several participants placed in full-time positions across multiple lines of business.

This is just a sampling of the programs we make available to our female employees. Through all, we’re giving women a sound understanding of how to enhance their development in the banking industry, and the exposure they need to advance their careers and businesses.

Erika Irish Brown is a Senior Vice President and Enterprise Executive and Diversity Recruiting Executive for Bank of America. She is responsible for recruiting, on-boarding and developing senior executives throughout the company.  Erika’s background includes more than 15 years of capital markets experience at organizations including Morgan Stanley, the U.S. Treasury and Lehman Brothers.  She is Vice-Chairman of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and on the Board of the Council of Urban Professionals.  Erika earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from SUNY Albany and her MBA from the Columbia Business School. Erika was recognized as one of the Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business in 2013.

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