For Bank of America, inclusion in the workplace starts with actively recruiting a diverse workforce. Employees with disabilities hold positions throughout the entire organization.
One area within the organization that thrives because of the diversity of its employees is the Support Services team, which is comprised of people with cognitive and developmental disabilities and provides an environment where they can realize their full potential every day. With more than 300 employees and operations in Boston, Delaware, Maine and Texas, this group delivers trusted, in-house solutions to internal business partners through innovative graphic arts, letter mailing, manual assembly and distribution services.
Support Services Lead Associate Tommy Fields joined the company nearly 20 years ago after hearing about a job opportunity at a Special Olympics event. Since joining the bank, he has worked to develop his leadership skills, resulting in numerous promotions and other achievements outside of the office too. Tommy now serves on the Special Olympics Delaware board of directors, chairs the Athlete Input Council and has spoken on behalf of the bank about their commitment to inclusive employment at many national conferences.
“My experience at the bank has been wonderful,” he said. “I have the chance to come to work and learn something new every day, with peers who work just as hard as I do. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. I was 30 when I started, now I’m 52. If my body is willing to come to work, and there is something for me to do, I’ll be happy to be here for another 20 to 30 years.”
Tommy, and all Bank of America employees, can take advantage of a number of resources and benefits. The Accommodations Support Team helps employees with disabilities gain the tools, equipment and knowledge they need be successful in their positions. The Disability Advocacy Network (DAN) connects employees with disabilities and their advocates with opportunities to stay involved with their communities and to educate the company on ways to enhance customer, employee and community experiences. In the past three years, DAN has grown 70% to include 7,000 members worldwide.
For Digital Channels Manager Mary Rosendahl (who doesn’t have an intellectual disability), creating a culture of inclusion has been an integral part of her life, both in her leadership role and in her personal life. “I don’t have any family members with disabilities, but I was raised to always be kind. I have carried that forward in all I do.”
Mary is highly regarded for going above and beyond to provide resources employees need to flourish at Bank of America. Outside of the bank, she works closely with and advocates for senior citizens, and she’s even inspired her daughter, who now has a Masters in Special Education.
Mary understands that in order for a team to prosper, each member needs to be given the chance to contribute ― and the only way for this to be possible is if the team as a whole creates an inclusive environment. “There is so much power in diversity. We all bring different experiences and talents to the workplace. We may not all look, think or feel the same, but our uniqueness adds tremendous value. Diversity fosters innovation, it leads to creative thinking.”
Bank of America will continue its commitment to inclusion because it believes the foundation for success lies in accessing the talents and values of its diverse global workforces.