Driving a new level of inclusion, diversity and equity
Cadence Bank has always been committed to their inclusion, diversity and equity (IDE) program but when George Floyd was murdered in 2020, the organization began to reflect on their purpose with a deeper level of determination to play a part in creating a more equitable future for all.
Within Cadence Bank, there was a recognition that more could be done to appreciate and address the experiences of both employees and customers. The banks existing IDE program was fragmented, consisting of individual initiatives without a strong, central, strategic control and direction. Consequently, progress was hard to track, with a lack of targets, measurement and reporting.
Cadence Bank's senior team was determined to further its IDE program as they saw IDE as critical in attracting, developing and retaining talent. The bank was particularly impressed by KPMG in the US’s own IDE program and broad expertise in the field and felt that collaborating would be a great fit.
Together, Cadence Bank and KPMG in the US evolved the banks existing IDE program, with the aim of making the company more representative of its people and communities. The first step was a comprehensive assessment to learn how employees felt about working at the bank, about the career life cycle, the culture, and opportunities to progress and fulfil one’s potential. This involved hundreds of conversations with people at all levels, including the C-suite. The team then created a set of metrics to measure progress and increase accountability.
The second step was a supplier diversity program, to help support the banks communities, including small businesses, LGBTQ+, women owned and minority businesses. Understanding the communities better was vital to address customer needs and ensure that the bank had the right kinds of products to support a diverse group of individuals and businesses.
My key learning was really more self-awareness, to have a broader inclusion lens is a lesson for all of us. I think the generation who will become the workforce of tomorrow, requires us to be more inclusive and to have diversity in order to attract someone to work for your company.
Cadence Bank now has a more comprehensive IDE program covering every aspect of the business, including employment practices, recruitment, and educating staff on values and the importance of IDE. Mutual understanding, empathy and awareness are rising, and feedback has been very positive, with more and more employees excited about career prospects.
One of the main outcomes is an IDE council encompassing 53 employees across the organization who are taking the message to every corner of Cadence Bank. With the processes and metrics in place, the company is in a strong position to become more diverse and inclusive, and to gauge its progress and continually improve its program.
KPMG in the US has successfully implemented world-leading and award-winning IDE programs and policies within its own business. Drawing on this expertise, KPMG professionals can help you meet your own commitments and targets to deliver long-lasting cultural change and to retain and attract the best diverse talent.
KPMG professionals help clients understand their current IDE position, and identify opportunities to build a more inclusive culture, with strong governance, clear targets and metrics, and learning and development.