Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Fifth Third Bank believes diversity and inclusion in the workplace are essential to living our Core Values: serving our customers, delivering financial performance, and being recognized as a leader in building an engaging workplace, a strong supplier base, and vibrant communities. The following programs help us in our commitment to ensure every employee feels valued, respected, and included.
Business Resource Groups
We have an extensive array of Business Resource Groups (BRGs) made up of constituencies of employees and allies who are focused on employee development, community involvement and business innovation. These currently include African American, Asian & Pacific Islander, Individuals with Disabilities, Latino, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT+), Military, Women’s, and Young Professionals Business Resource Groups. All employees are encouraged to share their experiences, talents, perspectives and creative thinking through BRGs.
The structure and focuses of the groups accomplish several important objectives, including:
- Driving accountability for both engagement and inclusion.
- Aiding in retention and recruitment; supporting career development.
- Creating a consistent way to share best practices and foster collaboration.
- Facilitating development and networking among employees and senior leaders.
- Leveraging employee strengths and expertise to drive business results for the Bank.
BRGs also participate in social networking events with other professional groups and organizations. The Council and BRGs are thriving and welcoming, so everyone can contribute successfully. Working together leads to winning together.
Disability Equality Index
In its first year of completing the Disability Equality Index, Fifth Third earned a score of 90 out of 100. The Disability Equality Index, a joint initiative between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN®, is the most comprehensive benchmarking tool that offers businesses the opportunity to report on their disability inclusion policies and practices.
Human Rights Campaign
For the fifth consecutive year, Fifth Third has been awarded a score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. In 2020, Fifth Third joined the ranks of more than 680 major U.S. businesses that also earned a top score of 100 and the distinction of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. This recognition is evidence of Fifth Third’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.
We want to provide an environment and culture where working parents can succeed and excel. Because much of the research focuses on the challenges still faced primarily by working mothers, we launched the Fifth Third Maternity Concierge Program in 2017. It provides assistance with the unique challenges during pregnancy, after childbirth, and especially upon a mother’s return to work. We believe this program to be groundbreaking.
Military Leave Policy
In 2018, Fifth Third was proud to introduce a new paid military leave policy to support our employees who serve in the uniformed services. Our guidelines provide for 30 days of military leave per year, and by comparison, the government offers 15 days of paid military leave annually. This benefit provides paid leave for any kind of military leave, including drills or training, not just active duty. The Bank’s policy allows employees to continue to serve for the country. These guidelines make an impact for current employees and position the Bank as an employer of choice for other veterans and military members in the community.
Multicultural College Recruiting Strategy
As part of its $32 billion Community Commitment, in 2017 Fifth Third implemented a multicultural college and university recruitment program. Led by our senior manager of university relations, it established relationships with multiple colleges to recruit, hire and retain the best and brightest students.
As part of our strategy, we have deepened our relationships with traditional colleges as well as historically Black colleges and universities as a way to strengthen the pipeline of diverse talent. The strategy also emphasizes internships and long-term employment through leadership programs. Moreover, it strengthens the Bank by developing an employee base that reflects the communities we serve, and it enhances the lives of tomorrow’s leaders.
Since the program’s launch, Black students have been recruited from the following HBCUs: Central State University, Florida A&M University, Johnson C. Smith University, Clark Atlanta University, North Carolina A&T, Tennessee State University, Spelman College and Morehouse College. Because of their close proximity, we have combined our recruiting efforts at Wilberforce University with activities at Central State. We have also supported Wilberforce with financial literacy and career literacy programs through our partnership with NextJob.
Fifth Third selected these universities to recruit from based on their location within the Bank’s footprint, leaders’ board involvement and the number of graduates from these schools that we’ve hired. The schools’ strong business, science, engineering, technology and math programs were noted for developing the kind of talent that can excel at Fifth Third.
Fifth Third’s commitment to inclusion is evidenced by our decades-long leadership with Project SEARCH, a school-to-work transition program for young adults with disabilities. The goal of Project SEARCH is competitive employment at the end of the one-year program, either at Fifth Third or in the community. It is a public-private collaboration operated out of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. We welcome visitors from around the world to learn about Project SEARCH and the success we have had at Fifth Third.
For over 15 years, Fifth Third has operated Project SEARCH programs in Cincinnati, Ohio and in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over that time, Fifth Third has trained more than 350 individuals, and is proud to have dozens of those individuals as employees of the Company. The placement rate for all Project SEARCH interns since 2005 is over 75%. Project SEARCH is a success at Fifth Third because of our executive leadership and employee support of the program.
Women in Leadership
The Women in Leadership (WIL) program is an integrated development experience that is targeted to high-performing senior female leaders who have significant impact on the success of the Bank. The program is focused on accelerating readiness to lead at the next level and, ultimately, the C-suite. Being intentional and transparent in our investment in women benefits not only the women in the program, but the firm as a whole, others who aspire to the program, and the sponsors who invest themselves in the program.
Participants are challenged to look inward, outward and forward to leverage their leadership capabilities through skill building, experiential learning and exposure to enhance the achievement of business outcomes. All of the women promoted in our development program have a formal sponsor at the executive or even Enterprise Committee level whose role is to actively guide career direction and facilitate progression. This moves beyond a traditional mentoring relationship and should lead to greater representation of women at senior levels.