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INSIGHTS
The Inclusion Imperative
Greg Cunningham, head of global diversity and inclusion for U.S. Bank, talked with BISA Magazine about the company’s commitment to diversity in recruiting and the results those efforts are yielding.
On U.S. Bank’s focus on recruiting a diverse work force: We’ve hired a number of recruiters in our key local markets whose primary goal is to increase representation of our key segments, which are Asian, African-American, LGBT and Hispanic. Their focus matches the communities they are serving. They are forging relationships with third-party organizations, and we have specific initiatives to build the pipeline, including a really strong internship program. We had nearly 100 interns at our Minneapolis headquarters alone last summer. A large portion of them were people of color. We have also formed partnerships with organizations like the Wallin Foundation, Step Up and Right Track (all Minneapolis-based) to increase our minority workforce growth. This year, we expanded our internship program to college juniors in Portland, Ore., and St. Louis, and with a focus on recruiting students of color. If they perform well, the interns will be offered full-time, permanent jobs at U.S. Bank when they graduate.
 
On the importance of inclusion: It’s critical to our busi­ness. We know that 94 percent of the population growth in our footprint is from multicultural communities. But more importantly, diversity is one of our five core values: “We draw strength from diversity.” It enables our business, and our ability to leverage inclusive leadership is a true com­petitive advantage. We’re able to make better decisions and leverage creativity and innovation because of our diversity.
 
On how U.S. Bank’s recruiters deliver on diversity: It's about taking a proactive approach rather than waiting to see the same candidates applying. If you want to diversify your staff, identify your ideal candidates, then go out to where they are (LinkedIn, industry groups, campuses, part­ner organizations) and recruit them personally. Hiring man­agers are extremely interested and understand the business case for hiring diverse candidates. To do that effectively and efficiently, they need tools and to better understand how to forge those relationships. So we are working hard to give them the tools they need and we are looking at our education and learning plan.
 
We know that 94 percent of the population growth in our footprint is from multicultural communities.
 
On the response from candidates: They are thrilled to be at U.S. Bank and that we have a meaningful push to retain and develop diverse team members. There is a lot of enthu­siasm also for our business resource groups. We had a sig­nificant increase in participation in our business resource groups in 2016: more than 25,000 employees engaged in at least one business resource group activity. That’s just one data point to suggest that our team members are getting behind the need and leveraging those resource groups to take on additional leadership skills and make connections professionally and socially.
 
On how U.S. Bank measures success in its diversity ini­tiatives: We have scorecards from our four key D&I focus ar­eas: workplace, marketplace, supplier diversity and commu­nity engagement. We measure our supplier diversity spend, our customer acquisition, hiring and community engagement with diverse groups. All the indications show that we are consistently getting better, and we share that information on a monthly basis with our top leadership. U.S. Bank’s senior leadership is fully on board with this initiative.
 
On what’s next: It becomes not just a program, but a way of doing business. Ultimately, we want this to be a way of meeting the wants and needs of all of our customers, not just a few. Diversity and inclusion are bringing us closer to our customers and helping us figure out how to meet their specific needs. It’s a challenge, but one that will make all of us better.
from BISA Magazine (Quarter 1 2017)  [VIEW AS PDF]