It’s our people who make Bank of America what it is today. We realize the power of diversity and value all our differences — in thought, style, culture, experience, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Thanks to our teammates, we are a stronger company. At Bank of America, we strive to help all employees reach their full potential. Our support comes through in our values, policies and benefit programs, which have helped to create an inclusive environment where differences are welcome and respected.
Supporting our LGBT employees
Our people deserve our admiration and appreciation. That’s why we’ve worked hard to accommodate their needs. • Bank of America was the first financial services company to offer comprehensive domestic partner benefits.
- We were the first financial institution to incorporate sexual orientation into our non-discrimination policies.
- We offer benefits that include medically necessary treatments for transgender employees in the U.S., and we’re committed to expanding our transgender health benefits in other countries and regions.
- We were one of the first financial institutions to provide for the equal legal treatment of same-sex domestic partners for federal tax purposes both before and after the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was repealed.
- We also provide financial support through grants and sponsorships for a wide variety of local, national, and international organizations that directly work with and on behalf of the LGBT community. From supporting local organizations like the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Ruth Ellis Center in Michigan, and the OneOrlando Fund in Florida; to supporting national organizations like the Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels campaign and the Trevor Project we have used our philanthropic giving to make the lives of LGBT communities better.
- In 2015, we signed the amicus brief in support of nationwide marriage equality.
- In 2016, we established an LGBT Executive Leadership Council, made up of out LGBT executives across the world, and focused on the development, retention and recruitment of diverse executive talent and giving LGBT leaders and employees a respected voice in the company and community.
- In 2017, the LGBT Executive Leadership Council launched an annual development program to align LGBT executives with LGBT protégés.
Creating an inclusive environment
- We care about our teammates and provide a truly inclusive work environment. By doing so, we encourage them to bring their whole selves to work.
- In 2009 LGBT Pride was formed at Bank of America, however our Pride roots go back to 1993 when Bank Boston formed the first Gay and Lesbian employee resource group. Between 1993 and 2009 LGBT events and activities continued to be sponsored throughout the country.
- LGBT Pride chapters advocate for LGBT employees and clients by: – Hosting local and enterprise events and initiatives – Creating networking and educational opportunities – Building awareness and increasing support
- LGBT Pride leadership has worked with our human resources and leadership development teams to provide LGBT-focused training, developed in conjunction with PFLAG and Out & Equal.
- LGBT Pride has grown to more than 30 chapters globally with more than 14,000 members who provide education, advocacy and visibility for employees and clients. LGBT Pride also launched the Ally Program to continue to drive positive change and engagement. Today, there are more than 21,000 visible allies and employees who are out-at-work in more than 1,000 cities in 30 countries across the globe.
- Outside of the formal network, our employees took over 4,000 hours of training on LGBT topics we developed with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.
Being visible in our communities
- Getting involved on a local level helps the communities we serve to grow and thrive while bringing us all closer together.
- LGBT Pride chapters organize our participation at community Pride events and volunteer with LGBT youth groups.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been a platinum sponsor of Pink Dot since 2014, part of our efforts to support our LGBT colleagues and promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace and communities in Asia Pacific.
- Local LGBT Pride chapters participate in AIDS walks and other community events, such as Habitat for Humanity® volunteer opportunities and food drives.
- We want to attract and retain the talent needed to make the financial lives of our clients and customers better through the power of every connection.
- Bank of America supports campus recruiting events across the U.S. and works with leadership organizations — such as Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Out on the Street — to recruit top talent.
- LGBT Pride represents us at recruiting events and provides information to prospective candidates at conferences like Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA), Lesbians Who Tech and the Out for Undergrad Business Conference.
- Most LGBT Pride chapters either host, volunteer or participate in local LGBT-focused community events.
- Prospective candidates can learn about the strength and benefits of our Ally Program by viewing a video on our Careers web page.
- We continue to develop strategies, products and services that benefit and support our LGBT clients.
- Global Wealth & Investment Management has a financial services team dedicated to offering products and services to LGBT clients.
- U.S. Trust® introduced a wide range of investment, banking, wealth transfer and legacy planning capabilities to help address the unique needs of LGBT domestic partners.
- We were one of the first firms to add LGBT-owned companies to our supplier diversity program.
- By championing our LGBT employees, we’ve been recognized by prestigious organizations that support the LGBT community.
- In 2017, Bank of America was recognized with the “Workplace Excellence” award by Out & Equal, earning all three possible awards from this prestigious organization. In 2013, Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, received the Out & Equal Champion award, recognizing the importance of advancing equal treatment of LGBT employees. And in 2011, LGBT Pride was recognized as the “Employee Resource Group of the Year” by Out & Equal, making us the first financial services company to garner this prestigious recognition.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch was awarded Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers in 2016 and 2018. The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is an annual survey conducted to determine the best employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff to work in the United Kingdom.
- The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and National Business Inclusion Consortium named us to their 2017 list of the Best-of-the-Best Top 30 Corporations for Inclusion.
- In 2016, we were named to Affinity Inc Magazine’s Top Corporations for LGBT Economic Empowerment for supporting LGBT-owned businesses through our supplier diversity and development work
- In 2014, we were presented with the National Business Inclusion Consortium’s Financial Services Diversity Leadership Awards’ Program of the Year award for our Ally program.
Life Event Services
In 2015, Bank of America began offering specialized support for employees through its Life Event Services (LES) team, a dedicated team of Bank of America HR specialists with a simple mission to help teammates navigate significant life events. Support for employees includes retirement, embarking on or returning from a leave of absence, bereavement, dealing with a critical event like a natural disaster or house fire, and support for those impacted by domestic violence. Additionally, as part of our ongoing support of our LGBT employees and the broader LGBT community, LES supports our teammates transitioning in the workplace.
- To support teammates embarking on a gender transition, Life Event Specialists provides confidential, one-on-one support for both employees and their managers. Reference materials, such as a guide to insurance benefits for transgender employees and a guide to transitioning in the workplace (which includes testimonials from employees who have previously transitioned in the workplace), are also provided to employees. These materials and the guide were developed based on feedback from Bank of America LGBT employees, recommendations from leading LGBT organizations, the voices of LGBT employees in other Fortune 500 companies, and existing Bank of America policies. Additionally, at a transitioning employee’s request, LES can connect them directly with other transgender teammates who have volunteered to provide direct support and guidance based on their own experiences transitioning in the workplace. Our transgender framework and Life Event support is also now available for employees in Singapore and Hong Kong, as of January 2017, at the same time the company began offering transgender benefits to employees in those locations.
- The transgender support team is one way we ensure an inclusive workplace and encourage all of our Bank of America teammates to bring their whole selves to work.
Bank of America national partnerships
- We are a Corporate Visionary Partner of Out & Equal, which includes presenting sponsorship of the Out & Equal Workplace Summit through 2019. The Summit is a national gathering of business leaders, LGBT employees and allies to connect, share best practices and formulate strategies for advancing equality in the workplace.
- We support The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT young people ages 13 to 24.
- Since 2014, LGBT employees and allies from across the company have joined together each year to participate in AIDS/ LifeCycle — a seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/ AIDS. The team has collectively raised more than $1 million to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
- In 2015, we joined the Ad Council as a corporate partner of the Love Has No Labels campaign, which encourages the acceptance of all communities inclusive of race, religion, gender, sexuality, age and ability.