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DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

Diversity isn’t something we do, it’s who we are

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and led by a female CEO of color, Bank of the West has long been a driver of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We proudly support programs and projects that advance DEI across the bank and in our communities.

Inclusion is part of our culture

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been practices at Bank of the West for decades—from our hiring process to broader business-driven initiatives and strategy. Our DEI Council, composed of senior leaders, integrates DEI into our practices and ensures that our strategy:

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  • Leverages the talents of our culturally diverse team members

  • Examines unconscious bias and its potential impact on team members' productivity and teamwork

  • Introduces tools and strategies that will position all team members for success

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and led by a female CEO of color, Bank of the West has long been a driver of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We proudly support programs and projects that advance DEI across the bank and in our communities.
We value a diverse and inclusive environment, where people embrace and celebrate different cultures, lifestyles, experiences and ideas. This openness makes us a more inspired and collaborative company.
—Nandita Bakhshi

President and CEO

Nandita Bakhshi

Our CEO, Nandita Bakhshi, leads diversity by example

Among just 6% of female bank CEOs globally, Nandita Bakhshi empowers diversity from the top down. When hiring, she ensures women and diverse candidates are included in interview panels, and she is also a signatory to the #JamaisSansElles - Gender Diversity Pledge. She has advanced women into more profit and loss (P&L) roles, which has a direct and visible influence on the Bank’s bottom line.
Nandita Bakhshi

Our Resource Groups promote and leverage the diversity of our team members

For decades, our Resource Groups have celebrated employees’ cultures and histories and engaged them with community organizations. The Resource Groups, which are sponsored by executive leaders, collectively contribute to our business practices and positively impact the communities we serve.

  • Ignite Program

    Ignite is an interactive career exploration program designed to develop and advance diverse talent into more senior roles at the bank. Each Ignite participant is provided with a Certified Career Coach and also an Executive Sponsor to introduce the participant to key decision makers and coordinate interviews for career advancement, where applicable.

  • Women Back to Work Returnship

    Bank of the West collaborated with Women Back to Work to launch a new “Women Back to Work Returnship.” The Returnship program encourages the return of women professionals back into the workforce after having experienced gaps in their employment. The first cohort kicked-off with a small group of “Returners” beginning their 4 month journey, with the goal of all returners converting to full-time employment with the Bank. Learn more.

  • Shecession to Shecovery

    In a “Shecession to Shecovery” panel session, senior Bank leaders discussed the personal impact of a global pandemic, and covered how the situation has affected mothers, senior-level female leaders, and women of color most drastically. Panelists shared specific actions companies and leaders can take to recover lost ground caused by the more than 2.5 million women who left the workforce in 2020 and 2021.

  • Pride

    At Bank of the West we celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride year round. Our PRIDE Resource Group and marketing team support local Pride celebrations in communities including San Francisco, Long Beach, Merced, Denver, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Fargo, Sheridan, and Tulsa. Additionally, in San Francisco, the Bank is a long-time sponsor of the Frameline Film Festival, the longest-running, largest, and most widely recognized queer film exhibition event in the world.

  • Grameen America, Inc.

    We teamed up with one of the leading microfinance organizations in the United States—Grameen America. The Bank, along with BNP Paribas, invests in Grameen America's programs in New York and California to offer micro-loans to low-income women operating over 12,000 businesses. In 2019, we became the first corporation to help Grameen launch a micro-lending branch in Fresno, California.

  • Milestone Makers Program

    Bank of the West is the only bank to collaborate with NASDAQ’s Entrepreneurial Center. Through this relationship, we not only support the full community with participation in their Learn-Ins, but we also sponsor women entrepreneurs in the Milestone Makers program, who have run companies ranging from Fintech to fashion.

  • Ulule Impact Crowdfunding

    Bank of the West and Ulule, an impact crowdfunding platform, are helping women entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successes. In 2019 and 2020, entrepreneurs applied for the Act for Impact program to receive business coaching. Through a series of business pitch competitions, a jury of business leaders, including Bank of the West executives listened and selected winners for a grant to help entrepreneurs achieve their dream.

By investing in women and minority entrepreneurs, we’re advancing economic mobility and gender equality—in businesses and across our communities.
—Michelle Di Gangi

Head of Small and Medium Enterprise Business

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