Only one-third of Bank of America’s board members are women, and just about one-sixth are either Black or Hispanic, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets disclosed in a new report, making it the latest major financial firm to reveal the makeup of its staff amid a push for greater diversity.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said that 47% of its board and management teams are diverse, while also pointing out that that just six of its 17 directors are women, only two are Black and one is Hispanic.
CEO Brian Moynihan said the bank’s second annual Human Capital Report serves to “provide greater clarity and transparency in how we make our company a great place to work and support our teammates and their families.”
“It also serves as a baseline by which we can show the progress we continue to make in supporting our teammates who serve our clients and communities every day,” he said.
Overall, the company said that 50% of the company’s global workforce is currently made up of women, and 45% of its U.S.-based employees are people of color. But, mirroring trends in the industry, these numbers do not translate up the ladder.
In the top three levels of global management at the firm in 2019, Bank of America disclosed that 41% were women, 19% were people of color, 6% were Black and 5% were Hispanic.
Of the 23 executive biographies listed in the leadership section of Bank of America’s website, just seven are women and four appear to be people of color. The remainder are white men.
The bank considers its numbers to be improvements, and noted that it is one of only five S&P 100 companies with six or more women on the board. Since 2015, there has been a 24% increase in women in management roles at Bank of America, and a 27% increase in people of color in management roles.
While the coronavirus pandemic raged throughout the U.S., a surge of civil unrest has also taken hold in cities focusing on racial inequality and police brutality. Prompted by the movement, financial firms have been more aggressive about diversity measures and social justice efforts.
Bank of America was one of several financial institutions to share details of its actions this year. In June, it committed to investing $1 billion in a four-year initiative to create opportunities for people and communities of color in health care, jobs, small-business support and affordable housing.
The first $300 million of that commitment will be directed to jobs initiatives, community outreach, Minority Depository Institutions and minority entrepreneurs, businesses and funds, the bank said in September.
Bank of America also plans to contribute $25 million to back the launch of a Smithsonian Institution initiative that explores how Americans understand, experience and confront race, its impact on communities and how that impact is shaping the future.
“Our focus on being a great place to work has never been more important,” said Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer. “While our teammates are focused on supporting our clients and communities, we’re focused on supporting them and their families, making sure they can be their best both at work and at home.”
This week, Bank of America posted its third-quarter results and revealed that improvements in customer spending following the COVID-19 downturn helped propel the bank to a nearly $4.9 billion profit. This was up from the second quarter, but still down compared to the third quarter of 2019.