At Citizens Bank, we don’t just talk the Diversity and Inclusion talk; we put in the work to walk the Diversity and Inclusion walk.
A focus on Diversity and Inclusion is an essential element of everyone’s success at Citizens Bank. Whether internally with our colleagues, or externally with our customers and communities, it all serves the same mission—to make everyone feel valued, respected and heard.
The recent global movement calling for racial justice and equality has moved all of us to reflect. Across the globe, people are listening with open minds and hearts and having difficult conversations. Citizens is eager to be a part of the solution.
That’s why in June 2020, we announced a multi-million dollar commitment to address critical economic needs, build stronger communities and create a culture of inclusion through a number of targeted initiatives:
- Grants to minority-owned businesses: Citizens will award grants to minority-owned small businesses across the Citizens footprint.
- Supporting entrepreneurs: As part of our lending support to small businesses, we will provide additional capital for training through grants of $10,000 each to 25 minority entrepreneurs to launch new ventures.
- Economic opportunity funds: We will provide funding to support business development and housing needs in underserved areas.
- Donations to nonprofit organizations: We’re donating a total of $500,000 to five nonprofit organizations focused on job creation and workforce advancement, including 100 Black Men of America, the United Negro College Fund, the Posse Foundation, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Urban League.
- Fund digital literacy programs: We will expand our existing partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and form additional partnerships to fund digital literacy programs to eliminate the digital divide that is a significant barrier for people of color.
- Invest in additional internal efforts to bring our workforce and leadership more closely in line with the demographics of the communities we serve while also driving greater levels of understanding and empathy among colleagues regarding issues of racial equity.
Citizens Bank CEO Bruce Van Saun explains why these new programs and initiatives are vital to the communities we serve and our workplace: “We believe it’s important to step forward to promote social and economic equity, to help eradicate racism and discrimination, and to work toward a world where all people and communities thrive. This program will promote further diversity and inclusion at Citizens and will utilize our platform to fund investments and support volunteerism to drive change and make meaningful impact.”
At Citizens, we live by a credo that calls for us to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion and to operate with understanding, empathy and care. It’s a journey we’re always on, a standard we hold ourselves to—to keep getting better. Let’s continue to improve together.