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Closing the gender leadership gap

The National Association of Women Business Owners reports 11.6 million women-owned firms in the United States. Access to banking solutions, ranging from small business loans to venture capital and digital applications, has been critical in fueling that growth.

At BBVA Compass, the individuals creating those banking solutions are likely to be women as well.

From our senior executives to our solutions developers and branch managers, women are involved in all leadership aspects of the bank.

“A gender-diverse leadership team leads to diversity of ideas, which ultimately improves our business and how we serve our customers,” said Director of Talent Acquisition and Development Sonia Storer. “From our senior executives to our solutions developers and branch managers, women are involved in all leadership aspects of the bank.”

Women are not new to the banking business: A recent study reports that women make up more than half the workforce of financial institutions in North America. However, that number dwindles to less than 30 percent when assessing senior-level executives. Storer pointed out that through its workplace diversity and inclusion efforts, BBVA Compass has made significant progress in growing that number.

“We’re investing in our talented women via mentorship, growth, and advancement,” Storer noted. “Last year we implemented some changes to our recruiting strategies to make sure women are well represented in our candidate pools for leadership positions. These efforts have led to the increased representation of women in key roles — executive positions with a high impact on organizational strategy — at the bank, and we expect to see that number rise.”

Another important initiative in women’s career development at BBVA Compass is the Women in Leadership Business Resource Groups in Houston and Birmingham. The group is open to both men and women, with an eye toward fostering mentorship, education and collaboration.

“The groups offer career development tools, internal innovation, mentorships, and opportunities for feedback,” Storer said. “There are so many great ways to get involved, and we want to give everyone the keys to succeed.”

The bank expects to continue expanding chapters into additional markets throughout 2019 and beyond, offering employees across the bank’s footprint the opportunity to participate. Storer currently serves as chairperson for the Houston Business Resource Group chapter.

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