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Executive Letter: Embedding DEI into the Employee Lifecycle

Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

Building an inclusive workforce has never been so important. As businesses throughout the country confront the Great Reshuffle and new employee expectations, Wisconsin banks looking to recruit and retain talent need to continue to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their mission to not only to serve their communities, but to better understand the needs of every employee.

As part of our efforts to promote a healthy environment for banks and to build upon our DEI resources for bankers, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) will be regularly hosting DEI-focused webinars for the benefit of all members.

On August 25 from 9 to 10:30 a.m., WBA will host Dr. Jeneise Briggs in Applying an Equity Lens to the Employee Lifecycle — Recruitment & Hiring Process. The webinar aims to address DEI as part of the recruitment and hiring aspects of the employee lifecycle, provide human resource professionals and management teams with the strategies and tools needed to diversify their staff, and explore ways in which the bank can make a case for DEI. Dr. Briggs will also allocate time for group discussion and a brief Q&A.

A recent study conducted by Qualtrics shows that 54% of U.S. employees would be willing to take a pay cut to work at a company with better values, while 56% wouldn’t even consider a job at a company that had beliefs they disagreed with. Almost 80% of respondents in a recent CNBC/Survey Monkey Workforce Survey said they want to work for a company that values diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. These survey responses underscore that employee expectations go beyond just salary. Employers that offer a welcoming, inclusive environment are undoubtedly more attractive to job seekers. In addition, DEI efforts help to create a space where employees are enthusiastic about coming to work and doing their best, which leads to increased talent retention and productivity.

As employers continue to compete for talent, building inclusive practices, understanding predisposed biases, and offering the benefits and opportunities that are important to candidates are major ways leaders are able to keep our industry relevant and encourage equity in Wisconsin communities.

To learn more about WBA’s DEI efforts or how your bank can get involved, visit wisbank.com/community/dei or contact WBA’s DEI Advisory Group’s staff liaisons Lori Kalscheuer or Cassandra Krause.