Press Release

Bank of the West Named One of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality and Diversity

Sustainable Finance Leader Received a Perfect Score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for Second Year in a Row
Named to Forbes’ 2020 Best Employers for Diversity List

San Francisco, CA

Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, today announced it has been named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, receiving a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality across the United States. This is the second year in a row that Bank of the West has earned a perfect score. Bank of the West has also been named to Forbes' 2020 Best Employers for Diversity list.

"Sustainability and inclusivity go hand in hand. We value equality for all and pride ourselves on creating an inclusive and respectful company culture. Diversity doesn't just happen. You need leadership's commitment and a strategy to recruit, retain and promote a more diverse team at all levels," said Nandita Bakhshi, President and CEO at Bank of the West. "It's rewarding to see that our efforts have resulted in a perfect CEI score for the second year in a row, and recognition on Forbes' Best Employers for Diversity list."

From its CEO to investment in female entrepreneurs, Bank of the West leads with and empowers diversity. Its executive leadership team is 30 percent women, nearly one-third people of color, and speaks 10 different languages. Bank of the West provides competitive benefits for same-sex partners, regardless of marital status, as well as transgender benefits in all health plans offered. Benefits include 14 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. Additionally, full benefits are offered to part time employees. All employees can be members of the Bank's seven resource groups, which honor and celebrate racial, gender, and LGBTQ diversity at the bank.

"From our corporate headquarters in San Francisco to our branches in 19 states, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our success at Bank of the West," said Sheri Paulo, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Bank of the West. "Our workplace embraces and celebrates different cultures, lifestyles, experiences and ideas. This doesn't just create a welcoming company culture—it's also good for business."

The 2020 CEI evaluates each company's LGBTQ-related policies and practices including: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBTQ equality, and responsible citizenship.

"The impact of the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index over its 18-year history is profound. In this time, the corporate community has worked with us to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and benefits, establishing the Corporate Equality Index as a primary driving force for LGBTQ workplace inclusion in America and across the globe," said Alphonso David, President at the Human Rights Campaign. "These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do -- it is also the best business decision."

The Forbes' 2020 Best Employers for Diversity list is based on an anonymous online survey taken by more than 60,000 employees working for firms or institutions that employ 1,000 or more people. Additionally, an index of objective and publicly available diversity KPIs were considered. Bank of the West is also ranked among Forbes' Best Employers for Women.

Additional Resources

  • Learn more about Bank of the West's commitment to diversity and inclusion here.
  • Bank of the West's Chief Human Resources Officer, Sheri Paulo, shares her perspective as a lesbian executive on the news in this LinkedIn post.

About Bank of the West

At Bank of the West, we know money deposited in a bank has the power to finance positive change. So we are taking action to ensure our activities help protect the planet, improve people’s lives, and strengthen communities. We are redefining banking for a better future by focusing on areas where we believe we can have a real impact: supporting energy transition, helping enable women entrepreneurs, and financing innovative start-ups. As the bank for a changing world, Bank of the West is committed to sustainable finance along with our parent company BNP Paribas. Through Digital Channels and offices across the U.S., Bank of the West provides financial tools and resources to more than 2 million individuals, families and businesses.

© 2022 Bank of the West. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender . Doing business in South Dakota as Bank of the West California.

Connect with us

Media Contacts:

Emily Iwan
Bank of the West


[Contributors Section]