Whether mentoring promising female employees or monitoring pay equity, Zions Bancorporation supports employees with programs and policies that champion diversity, equity, and inclusion.
When Zions Bank opened for business in 1873, five of the first 15 depositors listed on the original ledger were women, and another was an organization for women. “At the time, many banks wouldn’t let women open accounts or required them to co-sign with husbands,” said Zions Bank president and CEO Scott Anderson. “A few decades later, bank advertisements from the 1890s encouraged women to open savings accounts in their names. So inclusivity has been part of Zions Bank from its beginning,” he said.
Committed to Elevating Women
Zions Bank is a founding supporter of the Utah Women’s Leadership Institute and is committed to the organization’s “ElevateHER Challenge.” This seven-point pledge enhances women’s roles by increasing the percentage of women in senior leadership positions, providing mentoring, monitoring pay gaps, and more.
In 2021, the bank hired and promoted more women in mid-management and senior-level positions. From 2019 to 2020, the percentage of women in mid-management positions remained at a strong 65%, while women in senior-level positions rose from 30% to 36%.
“It is important for Zions to conduct reviews of equity in employee compensation regularly,” said Anderson. “The bank’s most recent study with the help of an independent third party found that, after adjusting for relevant variables including education, experience, and geography, women are paid, on average, above 99% of what men are paid, and minorities are paid above 98% of what non-minorities earn,” he said.
Last year, Zions Bank commissioned Dr. Susan Madsen, founder, and director of the Utah Women and Leadership Project at Utah State University, to conduct in-depth research looking at the metrics and identifying quantifiable ways Utah can move the needle to achieve equality for women. “It is important for us to share Dr. Madsen’s study with other companies, policymakers, and community leaders so we can have thoughtful conversations about how we can continue to improve the environment for women in the state,” Anderson said.
Supporting Women on Their Career Journeys
In recent years, Zions increased its use of analytics, recruiting outreach efforts, and management training to reach a diverse, qualified group of potential applicants to secure and retain a high-performing workforce drawn from all segments of society. A Structured Interview Guide for hiring managers helps remove unconscious bias from the hiring process. The organization is developing a formal “returnship” program with Talent Ready Utah, designed to help offer skill-building opportunities and support for women re-entering the workforce.
In 2007, Zions introduced the Women’s Business Forum, an employee resource group that fosters networking and career development opportunities. Since then, the company has created other Business Forums for employees, including Asian American Pacific Islander, Black/African-American, Disabilities, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQIA+, Military/Veterans, Native American/American Indian, and groups for women and women in technology. Regular Zions Business Forum events feature inspiring speakers, discussions of work-life balance, listening opportunities, and allyship.
It also offers a formal Mentor Program for up-and-coming employees paired with senior-level mentors to focus on specific growth areas. In the 2022 cohort, 52% of those mentored are women, and 42% are employees of color.
Offering Benefits That Matter to Women
Zions Bancorporation recognizes the importance of supporting new and adoptive parents through benefits. Starting in 2023, the company is enhancing its maternity and parental pay benefits. Birth mothers can access up to 12 weeks of paid maternity benefits at 100% of their base pay. Other new, nonbirth, and adoptive parents receive up to four weeks of paid parental benefits at 100% of base pay.
To help employees facing fertility challenges, Zions added a new benefit covering fertility services in 2022, allowing up to $10,000 per calendar year, with a maximum of $20,000 per lifetime, to help with the cost of fertility services.
Zions Bancorporation is committed to fostering inclusive environments, offering innovative programs, and accelerating opportunities for women.