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  • Diversity, Inclusion Are Key Elements of Bank’s Culture

    March 08, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Special Populations
    A diverse group of professionals work in a group at Key Bank.

    TAGS: spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    At KeyBank, diversity and inclusion is not simply a program or initiative. According to Aqeel Brown, the company’s commitment starts much higher and runs much deeper.

    “Diversity and inclusion is core to our business strategy,” explains Brown, senior campus recruiter. “Our commitment starts at the top. Valuing diversity and fostering inclusion are part of our corporate fabric. Our leadership and every employee contributes to our mission of authentically engaging our work force, our workplace, and our marketplace.

    “The efforts to leverage our campus connections, networks, clients, employee referrals, and internal promotions have greatly impacted our business and fostered a more diverse and inclusive work force.”

    Several of these efforts include:

    • KeyBank’s Campus Summit Programs—Sponsored by the campus team and Key Corporate Bank, these programs allow the organization to identify diverse students early in their college careers.
    • Strategic Campus Partnerships—These partnerships have yielded an increase in year-over-year diverse hires across KeyBank’s 14 different campus programs. The efforts to leverage campus connections has impacted the business and fostered a more diverse and inclusive work force. Accordingly, there is positive quantitative evidence in KeyBank’s year-over-year hiring trends that indicates a strong and demonstrable increase in diversity hiring.
    • Cross Line of Business Mentoring Program—Being piloted in 2017, this program is sponsored by Key Business Impact and Networking Groups (KBINGs) and targeting members of the KeyBank’s Young Professional, African American, and Key Executive Women’s Network Business Impact and Networking Groups for the initial rollout. KBINGs are company-sponsored employee resource groups that are open to all employees and harness the knowledge and experience of employees who represent many different dimensions of diversity.

    KeyBank’s culture is one of acceptance and valuing employees’ differences and viewpoints, Brown says. He adds that KeyBank sets an expectation from the start of onboarding for new hires to use their resources and partner within the organization. It also encourages all employees to participate in one or more KBINGs (more than 50 percent of all employees belong to one or more), and identify mentors for future growth and continued learning.

    Brown points to KeyBank’s enterprise-wide internship program and rotational analyst programs, along with its on-call programs and entry level positions as having a positive impact on hiring diverse talent throughout the organization. He also notes that KeyBank’s diversity recruitment efforts are made across the organization and for all positions, best illustrated by the fact that Key is led by the first and only female CEO of a top 20 bank, and the composition of its Board of Directors is more than 40 percent diverse.

    “For our recruiting program, there is a high degree of collaboration with a variety of partners to ensure a successful recruiting strategy,” Brown adds. “At the same time, there is room for flexibility as each line of business may adjust their approach based on need.”

    He says that KeyBank’s diversity and inclusion efforts have earned wide recognition, including being named to DiversityInc magazine’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the seventh time in 2016 and being cited as one of the HumanRights Campaign’s Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.

    “The numbers help tell our story,” Brown says. “But KeyBank is more than numbers; we are the people that make up this institution. Within KeyBank, there is truly a balance of sourcing diverse talent and providing revenue to the bottom line of our financial institution.”