The Women to Watch: No. 11, BBVA's Rosilyn Houston

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Chief Talent and Culture Executive, BBVA Compass

For Rosilyn Houston, success at BBVA Compass centers on improving its workplace culture.

Houston, who took over as the bank's chief talent and culture officer in July 2015, has increased employee engagement by creating an engagement council that meets regularly with top-level executives, including CEO Onur Genc, to discuss challenges and address workplace policies that they believe are outdated or too bureaucratic.

She has beefed up employee benefits programs, adding such perks as extended leave for new parents and even an overnight breast-milk delivery service for new mothers traveling on business. She also has established an innovative recruitment program aimed at attracting younger tech workers and has greatly strengthened efforts to attract and retain more women and minorities through an array of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The efforts are paying dividends. Turnover rates at the $88 billion-asset bank continue to fall while employee engagement scores are trending upward.

BBVA Compass is receiving external recognition as well: Last year, for the first time, it landed on DiversityInc.'s list of the top 50 companies for diversity and inclusion, and it received a perfect score of 100 from the Corporate Equality Index for its commitment to providing equal opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

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In an article posted on the bank's website earlier this year, Houston discussed the value of promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. "We've been able to broaden our talent pool, which allows us to deliver more innovative and well-rounded solutions and products that are a better representation of the clients, businesses and communities that we serve," she said.

Houston, who is African-American, has long felt a special obligation to help nurture the careers of women and minorities.

She began her career as bank teller and, through hard work, determination and a great deal of encouragement from various mentors, she eventually rose to the head of consumer and commercial banking for the North Texas region. Houston had been a top producer for many years, but she believes she's having an even greater impact on the organization in her current rule.

"I work hard to be the chief builder of an internal culture that opens doors to all people, just as I had those committed to opening doors for me," she said.

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