I watched the video of George Floyd’s death in horror. Incidents like this have been all too common as our nation continues to struggle to effectively address the racism, discrimination, bigotry, unconscious bias, economic and health disparities and violence that plague our communities.
The anger, frustration, rage and sorrow that have ensued are understandable and palpable, and could be seen and heard in protests that followed – those that were peaceful and those that escalated into violence and destruction, including in so many of the communities in which our employees and customers live and work.
This, coupled with the challenges and uncertainties we continue to face from impacts of the coronavirus pandemic – which has disproportionately impacted African Americans – leaves me, and many across the country, looking for answers that don’t come easily.
We all need to do our part. We need to choose kindness and compassion over discrimination, hatred and violence.
As a white male, I cannot begin to truly understand the anxiety and fear these experiences and others have created for African Americans and other people of color – including many PNC employees, customers and their loved ones.
However, as I shared with our employees earlier today, PNC’s values – particularly our focus on diversity and inclusion and mutual respect – have never been more important than in this moment. It is critical that we do all that we can to uphold them today and every day.
PNC is against discrimination in every form. We don’t "do diversity" at PNC because it’s politically correct or to comply with the law. We embrace and promote diversity as a core element of our values and our culture because it makes us a better company and a better corporate citizen.
All of our employees are expected to conduct themselves in a way that respects and values our differences. We hold our leaders to formal standards, including the responsibility to lead by being inclusive.
What’s become abundantly clear is that more is required of all of us. The death of George Floyd and other incidents emphasize that we must continue to focus on these issues actively and consciously, with respect, kindness and acceptance.
PNC is committed to advancing and further strengthening our diversity and inclusion efforts and fostering mutual respect.
We all need to do our part. We need to choose kindness and compassion over discrimination, hatred and violence. And, even in our most challenging moments, we need to work together to build a brighter future for one another and for generations to come.
– Bill Demchak, chairman, president and CEO of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
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