Two years ago, Huntington Bank laid out an inclusion strategy that would make senior leaders more accountable and leave other employees feeling better trained, better utilized and more engaged.
The results so far have been as impressive as the Midwestern regional's recent financial performance, which included a widening of the net interest margin last year and a return on equity that rose from 10.5 percent to 11.5 percent.
Huntington last year established inclusion councils and business resource groups for women, African-Americans, young professionals, and LGBT employees. The groups are not just for networking, but for identifying gaps in workplace policies and recommending ways to address them. All employees underwent Web-based training on inclusion, and senior leaders participated in an in-person, interactive course on awareness. An internal campaign, "Inclusion: Are You In," won the PR News Corporate Social Responsibility Award last year in the diversity communications category.
Mary Navarro, No. 8 on this year's list of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and a direct report to Chairman and CEO Stephen Steinour, is perhaps the most visible woman at Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington. The "fair play" approach she champions as head of the retail and business banking segment (with 24-hour grace periods on overdrafts, for example) continues to drive account growth and win raves in customer satisfaction surveys.
But plenty of other members of the Huntington team have been playing key roles in high-profile projects and growth initiatives. Among them, Cindi Hart, SVP and chief information security officer, took the lead in formulating Huntington's response to the cyberattacks that crashed several banks' websites last year. Chief Risk Officer Helga Houston oversaw Huntington's submission to regulators regarding its capital plans. Cindy Keitch, retail in-store channel director, began executing on the bank's exclusive, 15-year agreement to open branches in 103 Giant Eagle supermarkets in Ohio; and Paula Jurcenko, senior vice president of Huntington Funds, brought Huntington into the ETFs business and grew total assets under management to a record $4.7 billion. Then there are Cheryl Harrison, consumer operations director, who led Huntington's paperless bank initiative, and Traci Dunn, SVP for inclusion, who oversees the strategy that spawned the employee resource groups and diversity training.
2012 Financial Highlights:
Assets: $56.1 billion
Female representation among corporate officers: 45%
Female representation on operating committee: 25%
The Team: Gina Beebe, Barbara Benham, Maureen Brown, Linda Brown, Paula Clifton, Mary Cline, Diane Critchet, Ying Feng, Carolyn Gorman, Sarah Hall, Cheryl Harrison, Cindi Hart, Helga Houston, Holly Hynes, Paula Jurcenko, Cindy Keitch, Nancy Kelly, Cynthia Kincaid, Marcie Knittel, Kim Lease, Debbie Manos-McHenry, Karen Maruna, Connie McKee, Candi Moore, Mary Navarro, Monique Riccobelli, Beth Russell, Jeni Shaffer, Belinda Sherman, Susie Shipley, Sharon Speyer, Sheila Spradlin Reich, Deborah Stein, Lachelle Thigpen