Market Manager for Greater North Carolina Market, Business Banking
Bank of America
Discussing tough topics was the goal achieved at the recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Conference hosted by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Nearly 600 registered to attend the Aug. 9 event at the Raleigh Convention Center where they learned tangible ways of advancing DEI in the workplace and marketplace.
Dr. Joanna Schwartz, a transgender marketing professor at Georgia College, kicked off the conference discussing ways to ensure genuine meaning is conveyed. “More than sixty percent of us spend a majority of our time and energy trying to blend in – and that number is even higher for LGBT individuals and people of color,” she shared. Her topic “What is DNA Anyway?” challenged the audience to go beyond having enough people in the room and to give power to voices that have something to offer.
Lauren Hood, a diversity and inclusion executive with Bank of America, moderated a “courageous conversation” designed to deepen understanding of these issues. It was a powerful moment to experience how all participants committed to the topic by being open and honest. This courageous conversation helped all participants challenge our own bias.
I am so fortunate to work for a company where the words diversity, equity and inclusion are real. This isn’t just the theme of the day or year for us… it is how we do business. At Bank of America, we recognize the potential of every employee by actively encouraging a diverse and inclusive workplace — in thought, style, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, disability, culture and experience.
Being a diverse and inclusive company makes us strong and is essential to our ability to meet the needs of our clients, communities and employees. For all of us in the business community, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion will strengthen our businesses as well as our region.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch was proud to partner with the Raleigh Chamber on this important event. These values align with our vision, and we are committed to moving these principles forward in the Triangle.