It’s been an honor and pleasure leading Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) over the past year since I joined Jack Henry. My team, which is relatively new at Jack Henry, has been busy building a DEIB strategy dedicated to impacting to our workforce, workplace, and marketplace. You can listen to this podcast we released last year to hear more specifics about our strategy.
April is Diversity Awareness Month, and our Associates at Jack Henry have many opportunities to honor and observe this in several ways. A large part of honoring and observing months dedicated to building diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is elevating our own individual knowledge and understanding.
Having been with Jack Henry for almost a year, it’s clear that we prioritize our personal development and growth. Throughout April, during our annual virtual learning summit called JackTracks, Associates can register for dozens of live courses that promote professional development. My team is offering two live sessions as part of this summit to help us honor and observe Diversity Awareness Month – “Building Connections: Thriving Across Our Differences” and “Creating Confidence When You’re The First, One of Few, or The Only.” These courses build upon past sessions our Associates have taken, including “Unconscious Bias" and "Cultivating Cultural Competence & Inclusion.”
As we all honor Diversity Awareness Month, I’d like to share five ideas that can help financial institutions bring intention to elevating DEIB for colleagues and accountholders:
1. Hire a diverse workforce.
Encourage and actively seek out candidates from diverse backgrounds for all positions within the organization. This is best done when recruiters or hiring teams ensure that you have diverse sets of candidates. This can be achieved by partnering with organizations that focus on diverse candidates, attending job fairs, and using job boards that cater to diverse candidates.
It’s also important to review job descriptions to ensure they do not contain language that could be exclusionary to certain groups. For example, requiring a college degree for a position that does not require one could exclude candidates who do not have access to higher education.
Financial institutions should also provide diversity training to hiring managers and recruiters to ensure they are aware of their own biases and to learn how to avoid them during the hiring process. At Jack Henry, our talent recruitment team is in the process of becoming Qualified Diversity Recruiter (QDR) certified through a consultant.
2. Provide cultural training.
Offer training sessions to staff to ensure they understand and appreciate different cultures and backgrounds. When navigating a diverse client base and working with a diverse employee population, it’s so important to understand that we all have a culture. We bring our own cultural lens to every situation and interaction we have, and we must be aware of both our own and others’ cultural lens in order to navigate and build inclusion in our daily work.
By the end of 2022, all of our Associates had completed a LinkedIn Learning course called Cultivating Cultural Competence & Inclusion. One Associate left this review: “I really enjoyed this course – lots of reminders not to become complacent about diversity and inclusion. And a great reminder that our differences make us stronger together!”
3. Offer language support.
Provide language support for accountholders who speak languages other than English. By offering language support to accountholders and reaching out to non-native English speakers, financial institutions can improve accountholder satisfaction and loyalty, as well as expand their accountholder base.
Language support can come in multiple formats, including:
• Hiring multilingual accountholder service representatives.
• Providing translated documentation and user guides so accountholders can understand and use your products effectively.
• Using multilingual chatbots that are programmed to understand and respond to accountholder inquiries in different languages.
• Partnering with translation services to provide professional translations of accountholder inquiries and support messages.
Jack Henry has bilingual Associates in our corporate contact center, and we offer a variety of solutions that can support multiple languages.
4. Create employee resource groups.
Establish employee resource groups (ERGs) for different cultures and backgrounds to promote understanding and support within the workplace.
For instance, Jack Henry has seven Business Innovation Groups dedicated to building creative solutions for our Associates, while fostering an even better workplace for our people and environment:
• JHAnywhere (remote workers)
• jhAVID (visible and invisible disabilities)
• Go Green (environmental stewardship)
• Mosaic of People (embracing multicultural diversity)
• PRISM (LGBTQIA+)
• Women of Jack Henry
I highly recommend financial institutions connect with experts like Maceo Owens, known as the ERG Homegirl. She created a free resource called The ERG Movement with an abundance of free resources and will help you set up groups for sustainable success.
5. Support minority-owned businesses.
As a financial institution, you have the power to offer loans and financial support to minority-owned businesses to help them succeed and thrive in your community.
Along with providing financial support through loans, lines of credit, and other resources, supporting minority-owned businesses can also look like:
• Offering mentorship programs that connect minority business owners with experienced business leaders.
• Providing workshops, seminars, and other educational programs to help minority-owned businesses learn about financial management, marketing, and other key business topics.
• Connecting minority-owned businesses with other resources in the community, such as government programs and non-profit organizations that provide support to small businesses.
• Partnering with minority-owned businesses to help them access new markets and expand their accountholder base; this can be a win-win situation for both the financial institution and the business, as it can lead to increased revenue and growth for both parties.
We’re all on our own journey in DEIB. It’s important that we continue to develop ourselves so that we can create a more inclusive environment for the people we interact with in our daily work. We must have a strategy that helps us be intentional in the workplace, and focus on making impactful change – in honor of Diversity Awareness Month in April, and more importantly, throughout the entire year.
Please reach out to my team if you have any questions – email@example.com.
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