Lisa Carnoy's career path at Bank of America is a perfect example of how the company is actively encouraging its female executives to take on new challenges.

Carnoy had spent roughly two decades doing investment banking deals, most recently as global head of equity capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. But earlier this year she transitioned to a new role heading up wealth management and private banking in the Northeast and metropolitan New York markets.

While it's more of a lateral move than a promotion, it offers Carnoy a chance to gain the kind of broader experience BofA wants in executives that ascend to its seniormost leadership roles.

Cathy Bessant, head of global technology and operations, for example, has held managerial positions in virtually every business line within the company, from corporate banking to treasury services to marketing. Now she runs the bank's largest organization, with 124,000 employees and contractors worldwide, and is a member of the management committee, reporting directly to President and CEO Brian Moynihan.

There are three other women on the 11-person management committee: Anne Finucane, the global chief strategy and marketing officer; Andrea Smith, the global head of human resources; and Christine Katziff, the corporate general auditor.

These senior leaders are far from anomalies at BofA, where women run many critical business lines: Anne Clarke Wolff heads up global corporate banking; Sanaz Zaimi is co-head of sales for fixed-income, currencies and commodities, a unit that accounts for more than one-fourth of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's revenue; Lisa Clyde is the global head of consumer and retail investment banking; Titi Cole is the bank's retail products executive, overseeing the design and management of deposit and card products; Lorna Sabbia heads managed solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Candace Browning is head of global research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Like many large banking companies, BofA has an office of diversity to ensure that women and minorities are given every opportunity to advance. That office is run by Geri Thomas, who also doubles as the bank's Georgia market president.

Carnoy is among the leading advocates for diversity at the company and is especially passionate about grooming female talent. She actively recruits on college campuses, paying particularly close attention to talented female and minority candidates.

Bessant, too, feels a special obligation to help give promising women a head start. She created a scholarship fund for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, her alma mater, which targets women from small, rural towns.

Charlotte, N.C.

2013 Financial Highlights:
Assets: $2.2 trillion
ROE: 4.62%
ROA: 0.53%

Female representation among corporate officers: 47%

Female representation on operating committee: 36%

The Team: Cathy Bessant, Candace Browning-Platt, Lisa Carnoy, Lisa Clyde, Titi Cole, Anne Finucane, Christine Katziff, Lorna Sabbia, Andrea Smith, Geri Thomas, Anne Clarke Wolff, Sanaz Zaimi

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