Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is a critical component to the success of our business and BEST Community Comeback. At the core of Berkshire’s strategy is a goal to ensure that its workforce reflects the communities in which it operates, that its employees feel that they are valued and can reach their full potential and that it leverages its core business to improve the access and affordability of financial solutions to support economic growth of underrepresented populations and communities.
The Company instituted a strong foundation of governance practices to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded into Berkshire’s business activities. This includes the Corporate Responsibility & Culture Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors, which has ultimate oversight responsibility. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which reports into the Board Committee, is comprised of members of our senior leadership, including our Chief Diversity Officer. The Committee provides oversight to the diversity, equity and inclusion program by monitoring performance and assisting in goal setting/strategic planning.
Education & Training
Berkshire provides a full suite of diversity, equity and inclusion trainings to build understanding and provide employees with strategies they can put into practice. These trainings include “Creating a Culture of Belonging,” “Navigating Bias” and “The Art of Allyship.” All new hires complete this suite of trainings as part of the new hire onboarding process. In addition, Berkshire offers an immersive interactive training, “Anti-Bias and Inclusive Leadership,” to help employees translate concepts they learned about in foundational trainings into practice. Distinct versions are available to employees and people managers. All employees are expected to complete diversity, equity and inclusion training annually. The trainings form the basis for more inclusive recruitment, hiring and retention strategies at the Company.
As a community bank, it’s critical that our workforce reflects the communities we serve and we look to improve representation by identifying opportunities in targeted markets and business lines, develop deeper partnerships with nonprofit organizations and affinity groups and use external recruitment professionals to ensure we receive candidate pools that reflect the rural and urban communities in which we operate. In addition, the Company regularly reviews the gender and ethnic diversity of its workforce at the employee, manager and executive management level. Based on those reviews, the Company looks to improve representation of ethnic minorities and women at each level of the organization using a combination of strategies and practices to always ensure the workforce reflects the communities we serve.
Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups are team member led collaboratives that provide safe spaces for dialogue, education and collective action on topics relevant to their mission. They help facilitate Company cultural programming, host events, provide mentorship, support workforce initiatives and advise on the development and delivery of financial solutions and policies. We're proud to offer the following resource groups which are open to any and all company employees:
- Abilities in Motion (AIM)
- Health & Wellness
- People of Color/Multicultural
- Power of Women (POW)
We understand the importance of a diverse supplier base as partners in the achievement of our operational goals and building a more equitable society. We’re committed to fostering relationships with qualified, and when available, diverse third parties. For more information on our supplier diversity programs, please visit our Doing Business with Berkshire Bank page by clicking this link.
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
We're proud to be a signatory of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion ™ and join a growing coalition of businesses pledging to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. With more than 600 companies representing 85 industries, this commitment is driven by the realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue, that CEOs must play a critical role in addressing.
The Hispanic Promise
We're proud to be one of the first 100 signatories of The Hispanic Promise, a first-of-its-kind national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2019, the Hispanic Promise is a non-legally binding sign of intention, a result of the joint effort of multiple Hispanic organizations as a call to action for business leaders and companies of Corporate America to create a more inclusive work environment for Hispanics.
Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council
Berkshire is proud to be a partner of the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC). The Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) advances business opportunities for certified Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. One of the region’s leading corporate membership organizations, GNEMSDC was incorporated in 1975 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes.
Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI)
Our focus on diversity, ensuring gender equality and pay equity was highlighted as Bloomberg announced our inclusion in the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The GEI tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality. Through disclosure of gender-related metrics, we provide a comprehensive look at our investments in workplace gender equality reflecting a high level of overall performance globally. We invite you to learn more about this recognition at: bloomberg.com/gei
Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality
Berkshire received the top score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.
Business Coalition for the Equality Act
Berkshire is proud to be a member of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, a group of leading U.S. employers that support the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBTQ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.