The OBL and Ohio banks have made a real push to champion diversity, equity and inclusion in recent years with the Summer Banking Institute, one of several pillars supporting the industry’s efforts. This exciting career-development program is aimed at promoting careers in banking among diverse students. Due to impressive success, the OBL expanded the program statewide with hopes of proactively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the banking industry and being a solution for attracting and retaining diverse talent.
2021 DEI Initiatives included:
- Diversity of Boards – The OBL is identifying diverse leaders within the Ohio banking industry to ensure inclusion and the fullest range is represented around our governing tables.
- Event Program Content – Greater intentionality is being given to assemble diverse speakers at OBL events to convey the inclusiveness that the Association seeks to promote within the Ohio banking industry.
- Diversity Dialogues – This virtual program features noted experts and shares best practices, continuing the DEI conversation within the Ohio banking industry that was kicked off in 2020.
- Diverse Directors College – The OBL hosted an innovative new program geared toward attracting diverse individuals to bank boards of directors in partnership with each of the banking regulatory agencies.
- Financial Literacy Bill-The OBL worked alongside the Ohio General Assembly to strengthen Ohio’s financial literacy among high school students. This graduation requirement will now help students from all backgrounds make important day-to-day decisions.
2022 DEI Initiatives included:
- Cristo Rey Interns – Three diverse students are assisting the OBL this semester as interns from Cristo Rey Columbus High School, a private, Roman Catholic, co-educational school that follows the Cristo Rey work-study model for students from low-income families.
- Statewide Summer Banking Institute– On it’s sixth year, this program involves up to 14 weeks of intensive classroom instruction along with hands-on learning via internship in a bank.
- BankOn Accounts – In an effort to decrease the percentage of unbanked Ohioans, the OBL is promoting more banks participate in the national BankOn Account initiative. Addressing economic inclusion is a priority of Sen. Sherrod Brown and increased utilization of BankOn Accounts is a preferred alternative to new programs being created at the federal level to potentially compete with traditional banking (i.e. the U.S. Postal Service offering banking products).
- Minority Depository Institution – OBL has taken a lead role with the prudential regulatory agencies to encourage the formation of an MDI in Ohio.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Regional Banker DEI Group – The OBL has been invited to participate in a new initiative led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. A high priority will be developing an industry strategy for attracting diverse talent to banking careers, especially with regards to mid-career professionals looking to make a change.