Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We are committed to creating an environment that appreciates the individuality of all team members. We recognize diversity as a broad collection of differences that encompass many elements, including race, age, gender, sexual orientation, education, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, physical ability, and more.
We believe a wide band of inclusion contributes to the company in many areas, including:
Increased team member performance
Focusing on diversity also positions us to:
Better promote diverse business partnerships
Expand our customer base
Attract and retain top talent in the market
Make our company a better place to work
Better understand customers’ unique needs, including development of tailored products and services and delivery of outstanding customer and community service.
Leveraging these differences is essential to our organization’s long-term success.
As of year-end 2021, 66% of team members were women, 29% were ethnically diverse.
Diversity among Senior, Executive, and Board Leadership
We are proud of the growth we have seen in representation of women and people of color in senior leadership positions over the last five years. We continue to work on improving representation by gender, race, and ethnicity in leadership roles and as a part of our company’s strategic planning, we aspire to increase women in senior leadership to 40% and people of color to 18% by the end for 2024.
At year end, 41% of executive leaders were women and 12% were ethnically diverse. We also continued to maintain a diverse board of directors with 38% of our board being women and/or ethnically diverse. We continue to expand our representation goals and we expect consistent, regular progress. Please see our 2022 Proxy for more information. Our 2021 consolidated U.S. EEO-1 employment data can be found in our Governance Documents library.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) continues to be a priority at Synovus. DEI is being further embedded into our core business strategies, hiring initiatives, and investment decisions. This integration of DEI into the fundamental operations at our company is a testament to our progression on the journey we started just a few years ago. During 2021, we accelerated and developed new initiatives to further embed DEI into our foundation and core business strategies. These initiatives included:
Intensifying campus recruiting at designated historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Accelerating military recruitment and partnerships with Latin organizations and networks.
Hosting our first Diversity Symposium to provide students access to company executives, career professionals, and community resources.
Enhancing the recruitment and selection process for our accelerated banking and internship programs—resulting in an intern class with 43% ethnically diverse and 35% women and an accelerated banker class with 30% ethnically diverse and 60% women.
Conducting pipeline analysis by demographic and job grade to ensure a robust talent pipeline and diverse candidate slates.
Growing company-sponsored employee resource groups (ERGs) and holding regular ERG meetings.
Continuing to offer unconscious bias training across the organization and new leadership development programs for front line and senior leaders. All leaders are required to complete unconscious bias training as part of our leadership development program.
Conducting an ethnicity pay analysis and making needed adjustments in 2021. The ethnicity pay analysis augmented our gender pay analysis and equity work of the prior year.
These initiatives also included the hiring of a DEI director who reports to the chief human resources officer.
We have conducted several rounds of DEI focus groups to gather feedback on ways we can continue to improve in this critical area. We’ve also held listening sessions, offered fireside chats, and continue to sponsor ERG communities to ensure team members can both learn and voice their perspectives on issues impacting our communities and our company. As we continue to mature our DEI efforts to achieve measurable and sustainable diversity at all levels of the organization, our DEI director is working closely with every business unit leader to create diversity strategies custom to the current and future needs of the organization. The objectives and the implementation plans are set using baseline data and consider specific challenges in each individual unit.
We’re also focusing on additional initiatives to strengthen our internal career pathing and talent development programs and expand our mentorship and sponsorship opportunities.
Teamwork, on the job-training, and mentorship are essential aspects of career development at Synovus, and we believe in and benefit from the whole person, along with the individual talents and skills a team member brings to work. Our recruiting efforts are focused on attracting a diverse slate of qualified applicants. To ensure Synovus is regarded as an employer of choice by a diverse pool of applicants, hiring managers, talent acquisition partners, and third-party search firms collaborate to ensure consistent consideration of a diverse interview slate for posted openings. Consultation with hiring managers regarding diversity in interviewer slates takes place early in the hiring process. We’re committed to making steady progress at every level of the organization, and we continue to see positive trends.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, veteran status, gender identity, disability, citizenship, military service or obligation, genetic information, or any other characteristic prohibited by law. Our leadership is dedicated to ensuring the fulfillment of this policy with respect to hiring, staffing, selection for training, promotions, transfers, leaves, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and general treatment during employment.
To further the principle of Equal Employment Opportunity for all, we have developed affirmative action plans for minorities, women, the disabled, and Vietnam Era and special disabled veterans.
Employee Resource Groups
Our ERGs are informed networks of team members throughout the company who share common interests and drive education and engagement around events that support our DEI process. The groups are assisting with talent acquisition efforts, community outreach, team member development, and the establishment of both mentor and sponsorship opportunities, among other initiatives.
In support of creating an inclusive environment and acknowledgement of our DEI journey, any team member can join any ERG. Team members do not have to personally identify with the group they are interested in joining. ERGs provide an opportunity to network and grow team member knowledge by interacting with others from different backgrounds.
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