Diversity & Inclusion: The Workplace Game Changer
As business leaders and professionals, the words ‘diversity and inclusion’ are constantly part of our daily vocabulary, but how often do we pause to reflect on how those words can drive meaningful change? Recently, I had the opportunity to do just that. When I started my career, leadership positions were predominantly male. However, over the years, I have witnessed a culture shift with an increase in the number of women in banking, as well as the growth of female entrepreneurs; not just here in Florida, but around the globe.
Thirty-seven percent of businesses worldwide are owned by women and nearly one billion women around the globe are poised to join the workforce. But, most importantly, it is estimated that if women around the world were engaged in the labor force, as much as $28 trillion would be added to the global economy by 2025. That is a remarkable economic impact!
I’m proud to work for a company that values a diverse and inclusive workplace and understands the impact that has on our employees and our communities. At Bank of America, more than 40 percent of our management team is female, 45 percent of our Board of Directors is female, racially or ethnically diverse, and our CEO serves as the chair of our Global Diversity & Inclusion Council. This kind of commitment is what makes our company a great place to work and can serve as inspiration for other business leaders looking to enhance their D&I efforts. The diversity of our employees—in thought, style, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture and experience—makes us stronger and is essential to serving our clients and fulfilling our purpose.
I encourage my colleagues to pursue their passion in creating positive change in their communities and beyond. It is a passion I have committed myself to for years, including serving on the Global Diversity & Inclusion Council at the bank, acting as national and executive sponsor to Bank of America’s Asian Leadership Network, and previously holding the role of executive sponsor of our South Florida Chapter of LGBT+ Pride. I also have served as a Bank of America ambassador in Brazil under the Global Ambassador Program: a partnership with Vital Voices, connecting women leaders from emerging countries with established women executives from a variety of business sectors.
Diversity and inclusion are imperative for any business—large or small—to succeed. I’ve witnessed the power of a diverse team and an inclusive culture, and I know that when we invest in—and recognize the potential of—every individual at the table, everyone wins.