Through Diversity and Inclusion Comes Understanding and Strength

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May 30, 2020

As a global company, we take great pride in our diverse workforce and in fostering a culture of inclusion, equity and belonging. It requires us to be empathetic and understanding of the very raw and uncomfortable social issues that continue to plague our communities. Therefore, we, as an organization, cannot ignore recent events across America in which social injustice has once again reared its ugly head. I have watched with you, in horror, as disturbing displays of violence towards minorities, abuses of power and appalling behaviors have dominated the news.

Presumably, all of us – regardless of our race, gender or orientation – should be safe going for a jog, taking a walk in the park or relaxing with our family in our own home. But, what we are witnessing of late wakes us to the fact that many of our colleagues and friends must think twice before doing the things many of us take for granted as we go about our daily lives.

Tragedy has a name – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. And sadly, there are countless others around the world who have been subject to violence due to discrimination. If you are unfamiliar with their stories, I encourage you to get to know them. We simply can’t allow these horrific acts to occur without denouncing the underlying bias and prejudice that fuels them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light stark racial disparities and socioeconomic inequities as Black, Latinx and Native Americans bear disproportionately higher numbers of cases and deaths, and Asians suffer verbal and physical hate.

Now is a time for us to come together – across our global communities and across our company. As we have exhibited time and time again over the course of our rich history, BNY Mellon celebrates our differences and understands the immense value these differences bring. We’re strong, capable and resilient because our people come from all races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities and backgrounds. Our diversity of being and of thought is the reason we are leaders in an increasingly competitive, globally interconnected and digital world.

While we’re home, we’re missing those opportunities we had when we were in the office to be together and voice our anxiety, sadness and fear; to show our support of colleagues; to talk about how these events are making us feel. We may be distanced; however, we’re still one company that cares about each other. I encourage you to reach out to one another, lend an ear and provide a virtual shoulder in need. Lean on our employee and business resources groups that continue to be open, supportive, safe harbors for all of our differences. Let’s show our collective strength by continuing to be allies and advocates for each other.

At nearly 48,000 strong around the world, we should be a very powerful voice for equality, and a catalyst for the betterment of our communities. These recent tragic incidents are U.S. events, but the world is watching and we’re a global company that lives our values consistently across our enterprise. We stand against prejudice no matter the form, and we do not tolerate harassment, violence or xenophobia in our workplace – or anywhere else for that matter. We live these values through our people, demonstrate this in our public actions, stand proud behind our track record, and will continue to champion the wonderful diversity in our world that makes us a vibrant, unified and resilient company. I am committed to ensuring we live these values.

Thomas P. (Todd) Gibbons