When PNC's Black Leaders Forum was established in 2019, members knew they had to figure out how they would advance the company's commitment to diversity and inclusion by championing for greater representation of Black talent at all levels of the organization. Since then, the forum has achieved significant foundational milestones that are setting the wheels in motion to deliver for employees and the communities where they live and work.
“PNC's Black Leaders Forum members have played an integral role in informing and advancing the ever-evolving path to a more equitable and inclusive future for all," said Richard Bynum, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer at PNC. “We are working together toward that goal, not just within our own walls, but within the communities we serve."
The group, comprised of 160 PNC employees who self-identify as Black or African American, builds networks among its members and fosters relationships across the organization. It also provides educational and development opportunities, while increasing transparency and awareness of roles throughout the company.
“The Black Leaders Forum is a great opportunity to bring leaders together to advance a common cause of recruiting, retaining and advancing Black talent within PNC," said Della Hollins, Senior Risk and Control Manager. “At our last in-person event before the pandemic, it was powerful to see so many PNC Black leaders in one place. Even though we have a lot of work to do, this shows the drive we have to impact change in our company."
The Black Leaders Forum has three areas of focus:
- Marketplace – activities that support the economic empowerment of individuals and businesses that operate in our markets
- Advocacy – use our platform to advocate for social reform-focused causes that align with PNC's corporate values and commitments
- Workforce – focused efforts to improve representation, executive exposure and career opportunities for employees
The workforce component, which targets areas that directly impact PNC employees, has been the focus of the forum's early efforts and the source of the group's early successes.
To increase exposure to executives among PNC's Black and African American employees, the forum has established monthly fireside chats with Executive Committee members and market-level networking activities held by the company's Employee Business Resource Groups. The Black Leaders Forum has also implemented strategy sessions to solicit feedback on key talent initiatives.
“Forum participants, who represent all lines of business and staff areas, expressed the desire to learn more about other areas in the bank," said Catherine Grover, HRBP & Talent Strategy Executive. “The fireside chats highlighted opportunities and skills for roles that many employees were not aware of and it ultimately led to some great internal talent movement."
Additional initiatives underway include skills development workshops, a representation dashboard designed to identify opportunities for advancing Black professionals, and the expansion of the Black Leaders Forum annual event to include emerging Black leaders.