Many Cultures, One Bank
Diversity and Inclusion at Nevada State Bank
Embracing diversity and incorporating it into the overall culture of a company has many proven benefits. When employees of diverse backgrounds work together and approach challenges from more than one perspective, they will often find a more creative solution than a homogenous team. Companies that value individuals from all walks of life may also have a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring talent, retaining employees, and attracting customers.
“At Nevada State Bank, we’ve been making great strides over the last few years in creating and maintaining a multicultural organization that is open, supportive, and responsive,” said Micah Phillips, executive vice president and chair of the bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board. “The Advisory Board was established to foster an environment where employees can appreciate the unique talents each individual brings to the workplace. Our aim is to make sure employees feel comfortable and at ease, regardless of their unique backgrounds and situations.”
One of the first efforts of the Advisory Board was to encourage employees to create forums where groups sharing common identities, interests and issues could meet for educational and social activities, support and mentoring. Forums host networking and professional development events throughout the year, and members partner with Human Resources to help attract and retain a diverse workforce.
“Our Diversity & Inclusion Forums are a great place to connect with employees, support great causes, and promote personal development,” noted Phillips. “They are open to everyone, whether they identify as a member of a particular group, or want to find out more about members of that forum.”
Forums sponsor social events such as potlucks, holiday celebrations, and volunteer opportunities, where all employees are invited to participate. Rather than emphasizing the differences between cultures and lifestyles, their aim is to reach out and build relationships across the entire employee base, recognizing the interests, challenges and goals that all employees share. Here are just a few of the recent activities sponsored by the diversity and inclusion forums:
- The Asian-American forum hosted a luncheon featuring cuisine from multiple Asian countries, a performance by a traditional Chinese dance troupe, and presentations by two local Asian-American TV personalities.
- Members of the Black Leadership and Cultural Knowledge forum organized a barbeque fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada, and Northern Nevada forum members also held a fundraiser for their local clubs.
- The Amigos of Nevada State Bank hosted a Cinco de Mayo event to share Hispanic culture and awareness with fellow colleagues. Forum members also volunteered to pack lunches at Three Square Food Bank.
- The L.G.B.T.Q. Forum organized groups to march in Pride Parades in both Northern and Southern Nevada.
- The Women’s Leadership Group supports women employees through mentoring, leadership development and networking, both inside and outside the bank.
Nevada State Bank’s diversity and inclusion efforts are bearing fruit. Hundreds of employees have attended forum-sponsored events, which are publicized in both internal and external communications, helping spread the word about their value.
“Any employee can apply to create a new forum,” noted Phillips. “Because of our initial success, we’re looking forward to more forums being established in the future.”
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC