VBA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Efforts
As a part of our 2019-2021 VBA Strategic Plan, the VBA created the goal of developing recommendations for how VBA can assist members in building a more diverse future leadership. The below efforts are a summary of the initiatives we have since started in this space, as well as resources for banks as they begin or further their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and efforts at their own organizations.
This list highlights important initiatives and resources but is not comprehensive of VBA efforts in the DEI space.
ABA/VBA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summit
The VBA is focused on providing quality DEI training for VBA member banks in the form of conference sessions, webinars, facilitated conversations and focused events.
In partnership with the American Bankers Association, we held the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit on November 6, designed for banks of all sizes and at different stages to participate and gain appropriate knowledge, tools, and resources for their DEI programs. It is not too late to register for this event to listen to the session recordings. Registration is open through November 30, and the recordings will be available through December 31. Click here to register and access the recordings.
VBA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council
The VBA created a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council in 2019 to help guide the creation of DEI initiatives and programming for member banks. Twenty-four members bankers are a part of the Council. The Council has held three meetings, the first of which took place in March 2019, the second in October 2019 in partnership with the VBA HR and Training Committees, and the third in July 2020. The next meeting will take place in November. In July 2020, DE&I Council members also participated in a VBA Town Hall on Racial Equality. The Council will continue to meet and be a sounding board for the VBA as we work to support our member banks in their DEI efforts.
Women’s Mentorship Pilot Program
This program is a turn-key experience for banks who want to provide senior level employees the opportunity to mentor high-potential women in their own banks. In 2019-2020, 14 mentor/mentee pairs benefited from one-on-one interaction and discussion combined with training and networking opportunities. The 2021 Women’s Mentorship Program will kick-off in March. More information will be available soon.
Recruitment Solution Through BankTalentHQ
VBA’s new career center partnership with BankTalentHQ includes access to America’s Job Exchange (AJE) to make connecting even easier for your bank. In order to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of the recruiting process, AJE provides niche diversity sites and community-based recruiting to reach the candidates you need to succeed. Click here for more information.
Internal DEI Efforts at the VBA
The VBA is committed to supporting our member banks in their DEI journeys, and we are equally committed to providing training, opportunities for conversation and continuous evaluation of our business practices.
The VBA conducts internal trainings for staff in this space, and various VBA staff members participate in, attend or speak at external DEI forums and events.
Additional Resources & Articles of Interest
- American Bankers Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion webpage and resources
- Wake-Up Calls and Turning Points by Bruce Whitehurst, Virginia Banking magazine article in Volume 3, 2020
- Getting to Know 2020-2021 VBA Chairman John Asbury, Virginia Banking magazine article in Volume 3, 2020
- Washington Update – Running Toward the Challenge by Rob Nichols, Virginia Banking eNewsletter feature in July 2020