The bank welcomed staffers and LGBT community members to TD University in Mt. Laurel, N.J., for the kickoff of its regional LGBT Employee Resource Group.
Romy Riddick, senior vice president and head of talent management at TD Bank, said the ERG grew out of the bank’s commitment to promoting diversity among both its employee and customer bases.
“We have a robust diversity and inclusion initiative for our organization, and one of our focus areas is the LGBT community,” Riddick said. “Launching and maintaining employee resource groups within our focus areas is very important to us because these are employee-enabled initiatives and are a great way to engage our employees in this important work.”
Organizers of the LGBT ERG will meet in the coming weeks to establish specific goals, Riddick said, which will likely be similar to the bank’s other ERGs, which focus on strengthening relationships between the bank and the respective community they serve.
“The group increases the company’s ability to hire, promote and retain employees from the LGBT community,” Riddick said. “And they serve as a fantastic means to reach out to the diverse marketplace and also advise and counsel the bank on how to reach that marketplace.”
Philanthropy is also expected to play a role, Riddick said.
At the kickoff event, TD announced it was giving a $3,000 contribution to the William Way LGBT Community Center and also worked to collect gift donations for the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund’s TOY fundraiser.
“Corporate citizenship and philanthropy are absolutely part of our value system within the bank,” Riddick said. “Our employee resource groups usually have some focus on community contributions and volunteerism as part of their mandates, so I fully expect the Philadelphia group will continue giving back to the community.”
TD Bank associate vice president and compliance officer Scott Bowen, who is serving as the ERG’s Regional Lead for Greater Philadelphia, said he sees great potential in the group.
“It’s my hope that the employee resource group will evolve and grow as a valuable resource to TD Bank and its employees — committed to advocating for diversity and inclusion, engaging the community and helping us to meet our business objectives while developing talent,” Bowen said. “The ERG is an exciting opportunity to help create a path for the bank on diversity and inclusion.”
Last year, TD Bank trained all of its employees with a new online, interactive system that includes simulations allowing employees to put themselves in real-life situations where diversity awareness could be utilized, and managers and supervisors were also brought in for additional classroom-setting trainings. All trainings were LGBT-inclusive.
TD Bank has acquired a number of smaller banks in the past year, Riddick said, and has trained nearly all of those new employees as well.
“We’re continuing and making sure that as soon as someone joins the organization, they receive diversity training,” she said. “Just about 100 percent of our employees have been trained, which, for an organization with 25,000-plus employees, is something we’re really happy about.”
Bank officials were also pleased with the response to the LGBT ERG.
Riddick said that, in addition to the LGBT employees who came out to support the group at its launch, a large contingent of allies also attended.
“The beautiful thing is that employees have received this initiative with open arms,” she said. “They want to be a part of it because they see the value in it. We want all of our employees to realize that it’s important that everyone be allowed to bring their whole selves to work. When people are able to do that, they feel most productive and satisfied, and the happier our employees are, the happier our customers are.”
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.