BBVA USA today announced the formation of its second Business Resource Group (BRG), this one in support of employees who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and supporting community. The announcement was made during the bank’s first LGBTQ Perspectives internal panel discussion, held virtually and including more than 300 bank employees.
“As we’ve looked internally at how we build stronger teams, we made the decision to announce a business resource group open to all BBVA USA employees, offering leadership development and peer mentoring in support of LGBTQ team members,” said BBVA USA President and CEO Javier Rodríguez Soler, who also serves as global executive sponsor for BBVA’s Workplace Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
The establishment of the LGBTQ BRG comes nearly two years after the establishment of the bank’s first BRG, Women in Leadership, in late 2018 to underpin BBVA’s often-recognized Workplace Diversity and Inclusion efforts. Since then, the WIL group has grown to more than 600 women and men across four chapters within the bank’s footprint.
Rodríguez Soler: “One way we can do this is by creating opportunities for team members to bring their full selves to work and connect with one another more deeply.”
“We hope to replicate our success with Women in Leadership in our newest business resource group, too, as part of our ongoing commitment to making diversity and inclusion a key part of our ‘best and engaged team’ pillar in our 2020-24 strategic plan,” Rodríguez Soler said. “One way we can do this is by creating opportunities for team members to bring their full selves to work and connect with one another more deeply. Our newest business resource group is one part of that effort.”
The LGBTQ Perspectives panel discussion grew out of the bank’s recent One Team Talks, intended to provide a forum for employees to have authentic conversations about difficult topics including social justice and racial equity. The panel consisted of four BBVA employees, three who identify as members of the LGBTQ community and one whose child does. Panelists shared experiences and answered questions submitted by fellow employees.
These efforts reflect BBVA’s ongoing commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion to ensure that team members feel welcomed, heard, valued and respected. In January 2020, BBVA USA received a perfect score of 100 on the 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The 2020 CEI evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, but the journey is far from over,” said Rodriguez Soler. “To move BBVA forward, we need to embrace our differences and dedicate ourselves to leading the change we want to see.”
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