NorthTrustDiversity and inclusion is key to Northern Trust’s business success.

Attracting and retaining the world’s greatest talent with different backgrounds and varied experiences, helps Northern Trust realize its mission of being the most trusted financial partner delivering market leading capabilities through exceptional people and technology. “We believe that diversity is not a problem to be solved, but an opportunity to leverage our unique differences,” says Frederick H. Waddell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “When Diversity and inclusion is acknowledged and put into action, creativity and innovation is maximized and this is one way we distinguish ourselves from our competitors.”

“Holding ourselves accountable in our practice of diversity and inclusion strengthens employee engagement and allows our partners to deliver on our founding principles of service, expertise and integrity to our clients and to one another,” says Connie L. Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust.

“Diversity and Inclusion is embedded in our business, corporate goals and Human Resources priorities,” she says. “With our integrated diversity strategy — including supplier diversity, talent pipeline development, career progression, partner engagement and organizational development, we are creating a strong foundation for transparency and accountability.”

Northern Trust marked 125 years in 2014 and today has 20 international locations. “Our global workforce and footprint requires that we explore innovative ideas to develop and retain talent,” says Waddell. One such innovation is the Northern Trust Diverse Leaders’ Program—aimed at mid-level ethnic minority employees in EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa). The program is designed to support participants in developing leadership skills while accessing tools to successfully navigate the organization. Participants benefit from seminars, coaching, mentoring and meetings with senior managers. This has led to an increase in current responsibilities, promotions and new job opportunities.

Accountability for the execution of the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy is governed at all levels of leadership including the Board of Directors and presidents of all business units. Ten business resource councils deliver engagement based activities, education and awareness in conjunction with three regional Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Councils which influence the strategic agenda. Each council has a sponsor from senior management who is responsible for providing direction and insight on their goals and objectives. Employees value this commitment and involvement, which is reflected through the success of these groups.

Northern Trust has been widely recognized for its efforts. “We are proud to have achieved a perfect rating of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the last seven years, to be named to the List of Top 50 Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives, 2013 Best Companies for Employee Resource Groups by Upward Synergy and named to the List of 40 Best Companies for Diversity by Black Enterprise Magazine,” Lindsey says. “These awards reflect our focus on developing a diverse workplace where engagement and inclusion drives business excellence.”

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