Empowering women leaders around the world

Jennifer Boussuge, Head of Global Transaction Services, EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jennifer Boussuge, Head of Global Transaction Services, EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

 

We have a long heritage of supporting women’s economic empowerment and leadership, through our external partnerships and within our own organisation. We recognise that women play a significant role in advancing economic growth within their communities and in the global economy; and yet they often face challenges in accessing the necessary capital and resources. That’s why we’ve extended our support of women beyond our own business, connecting them to the resources, networks and mentoring needed to help them achieve success. From developing women within our own company, to creating products and strategies that meet women’s needs and supporting women leaders globally, we’re committed to bringing the full capabilities of our company to support women’s economic advancement around the world.

The 2016 Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index reinforces our position as a global leader in gender equality and supporting women in the workplace. It highlighted our representation of women at all levels; our leading talent development and benefit programmes, gender-conscious client product offerings, and active support and engagement on these issues in our local communities. 

We have programs and partnerships in place to develop talented women throughout their career and we support the personal and professional growth of all our employees through progressive workplace policies. Our LEAD for Women, Women in Technology & Operations, and Global Banking & Markets Women’s Leadership Council employee networks play an essential role in building the culture of our company, and in placing diversity and inclusion at its heart. With more than 22,000 members throughout the world, these networks are central to the day-to-day functioning of our company and help to develop a diverse and inclusive team culture.

“When I first joined the bank, I was part of the LEAD employee network mentoring program. As a first year analyst, this was great as I felt a lot of comfort knowing that someone I could talk to was just a phone call or an email away.” Aangi Kothari, Wholesale Credit Analyst.

It makes me proud to work for a firm that shares my values.

To encourage our investors and clients to consider impact investment strategies, we’ve created the Women and Girls Equality Strategy (WGES), as part of U.S. Trust’s Social Impact Investing platform. This investment product evaluates a corporation’s policies on pay equity across genders; females/minorities represented in management, and identifies companies that are positioned to take advantage of the women’s economic theme.

The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, powered by our company, connects women entrepreneurs in the U.S. to affordable loans. Administered by community development financial institutions (CDFIs), $10mm was loaned to women business owners in 2014 and 2015. 

To create economic opportunity for women entrepreneurs around the world, we partner with Vital Voices and the Cherie Blair Foundation to connect nearly 2,000 women entrepreneurs from more than 80 countries with mentors — 200 of whom are mentored by our employees.

In October 2015, we held our 11th Global Ambassadors Program (GAP) in Tokyo and our 12th one in London in February 2016. Each time, the program convened women leaders (mentees) from across the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe for a week of one-on-one mentoring sessions, strategic planning workshops and discussion about the issues that most impact society today, including how women in business are forging solutions to help solve the refugee crisis. 

“The Global Ambassadors Program enables women leaders from around the world to gain specific experience and knowledge as they work to make an impact in their respective communities” said Jennifer Boussuge, Head of Global Transaction Services, EMEA and a 2016 Global Ambassadors Program mentor. 

“In the community or with our employees, mentoring is something that we take seriously at Bank of America. I personally believe in mentoring as I have also benefited from it throughout my career. It makes me proud to work at a company that shares my values.”

 

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